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Crime may force clinics to cut hours

burglar
burglar
Image: STOCK IMAGE

Limpopo's MEC for health Phophi Ramathuba has vowed to withhold 24-hour services at clinics until the security crisis at health facilities in the province is resolved.

She said the community had to get involved.

"If you want 24-hour service, provide security for us. If you can't provide security for me, don't ask me for 24 hours," she said during a launch for security committees at a hotel in Polokwane yesterday.

 Ramathuba said she would not force nurses to work at night as they fear being raped and robbed.

 The department's deputy director-general Matome Mawasha said the department was in serious trouble.

Hospitals and clinics in the province experienced security breaches, including 12 armed robberies, this year.

"We are being raided by thugs. People who enter health facilities are vulnerable. They are not in a position to defend themselves. We had to sit around the table and say this must change," he said.

Yesterday, Ramathuba said hospitals had become havens for criminals.

She urged police, community members and traditional leaders to assist in making them safe.

In October, two men robbed four clinics in the Vhembe district on the same night. They were arrested after they killed a police officer who tried to intervene.

Brigadier Dikeledi Mangena said they had received instructions from the provincial commissioner to conduct regular patrols at health facilities.

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