For The People

The Safety And Security Of Patients And Personnel At Health Facilities Worries The Northern Cape MEC For Health

The Northern Cape MEC for Health, Fufe Makatong notes with concern the unresolved issues raised by security officials contracted to Defensor Security Company that has an element of compromising the safety and security of patients and personnel at health facilities during the festive season break.

Following last weeks’ picketing actions by security officials, the MEC is reeling with shock after learning that most of the security officers placed at health facilities in the province were dismissed, for displaying their dynamic demands, relating to monies owed and annual bonuses.

The MEC has since alerted the administration on security concerns and complaints received from members of the community and stakeholders. Few incidents may be cited relating to arson in Steinkopf and vandalism of the old hospital building in De Aar experienced in the presence of security guards, while the department is meeting its contractual obligation to Defensor without fail on a monthly basis.

It becomes important to also note that reports presented by different oversight bodies on investigations conducted, strongly emphasise on the need to strengthen the security services at health facilities across the province. This impasse necessitated for MEC Makatong to intervene by urging both parties to negotiate in good faith, for this concern to be traversed.

The dismissal of security officials in the ZF Mgcawu district and other parts of the province is deemed by the MEC as reversal of gains made since the advent of democracy and is tantamount to suppressing employees’ rights as prescribed by labour laws.

As a result, MEC Makatong during her budget speech highlighted the departmental desire to heed to a call of the National Health Council to explore options towards insourcing of security and to date, a total of more than 70 officials were recently appointed permanently in the department at the New Mental Facility. This overarching development goal creates the opportunity for an intensive programme of job creation.

Government has embarked on radical socio-economic transformation to push back the triple challenges through the National Development Plan, which seeks to eradicate poverty in our country by 2030.

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