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Hospitals buckle under strain caused by ongoing looting

Doctor gloves hospital
Picture: Pexels (Gustavo Fring)

By Kaya 959 News

The National Hospital Network has appealed for police and army escorts for vehicles carrying medical supplies to and from hospitals.

“Parts of our country are under siege, the impact of the looting and destruction is having dire consequences on hospitals and related healthcare services such as dialysis and oncology.

“We must not forget that we are in the midst of a pandemic, which has fast reached crisis proportions, and the epicenter of the pandemic is within the affected provinces currently under siege,” said NHN CEO Neil Nair.

He said hospitals are facing dire staff shortages as staff cannot leave their places of residence or return safely after shifts.

“Some of our staff have requested to sleep at hospitals. Some of our doctors have reported that they too are unable to reach hospitals. Food supplies are running out at some of our hospitals. Pharmaceutical and oxygen supplies are compromised as these stocks are supplied via Durban,” Nair said.

READ: Geoff Makhubo remembered as a “great dad” at final farewell

NHN said at one of the hospitals, patients were unable to be discharged as there was no transport to get them home.

“At our Melomed Richards Bay Hospital, fibre lines were destroyed and had not communications capabilities,” Nair said.

He called on the government to provide on-site security to hospitals and to secure hospital communications and IT systems.

‘The looting and violence must stop’

Gauteng Premier David Makhura visited various areas in the province where he called on community leaders to work with the law enforcement officers to stop the sporadic incidents of looting and violence.

“We call on all the people of our province in different communities to work with the law enforcement agencies to stop the looting and violence that is taking place across the province, particularly targeted at shopping centres,” Makhura said.

He added that the violent protests have negatively impacted the provincial government services, including some vaccination sites, which have had to temporarily close due to safety concerns.

“The looting and violence must stop. Health services have been affected in some areas where health workers are unable to go to work, and ambulances are unable to operate,” the Premier said.

READ: More soldiers deployed to looting hot spots

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