easterncape thumb100 DespatchLIVE reports that the Eastern Cape department of health is poised to arm security guards working in hospitals with pepper spray and stun guns in a bid to curb attacks on patients and staff.  

In the latest incident, a stab wound patient was stabbed to death on Sunday inside All Saints Hospital in Ngcobo by a man who had apparently come to “finish him off”.  Provincial health spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo said criminals were targeting hospitals and clinics.  “After meeting unions, the hospital board, Ngcobo mayor Siyabulele Zangqa, the SAPS and traditional leaders, it was agreed that security measures should be improved.  A detailed plan will be presented on Friday,” Kupelo indicated.  Civic and medical associations also called for improved security.  Mcebisi Mgudlwa of the SA National Civic Organisation called for tactical teams to be deployed at the Ngcobo hospital.  The SA Medical Association (Sama) called for the urgent placement of police in all state hospitals in the province.  Sama’s Dr Mzulungile Nodikida said:  “Security guards in state hospitals currently are not trained to deal with armed perpetrators, as they themselves are not armed, which is why this perpetrator had ease of access.  SAPS officers who are armed and trained can bridge this gap.”

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