Violent crimes at government health facilities such as clinics seem to be increasing, as thieves and rapists continue to make such places their hunting grounds. Despite growing dangers faced by those who provide health services at clinics and hospitals, government seems to be too slow to deal with the matter decisively.
Last year, many were left shocked, after a female nurse was brutally raped while on duty at Extension II Clinic, in Gaborone. That was not the only incident as; yet another nurse was reportedly attacked in Palapye, and one at Mafitlhakgosi Clinic in Tlokweng.
These are just a few incidents, which reflect, to a greater extent the dangers that stalk government health services providers, especially nurses, doctors, and pharmacists who work night shifts.
Criminals seem to have surveyed government clinics, and released that the security at such facilities was not as watertight, as it should be hence their continued attacks on innocent health professionals.
Clinics, which operate beyond 4:30pm, continue to be targeted by unscrupulous criminals, the latest incident being the one, which occurred last Friday at the Broadhurst III clinic.
It is reported that thieves walked into the clinic and threatened nurses and patients with sharp objects. The thieves, who are reported to still be at large, stole cellular phones from the three nurses who were on duty, as well a patient. Another individual who accompanied a patient to the clinic was also attacked.
We urged government not to take such incidents lightly, hence the need to call on the authorities to take
In our view, security at these facilities should be beefed up as a matter of urgency. Perhaps, government should look into installing working security camera system at all the health posts, and make sure that the security cameras are monitored closely. The government needs to also look at increasing the number of security guards and equipping them with the necessary tools that can help them fight off intruders.
Given the rate at which the crimes seems to be growing, it will not be surprising if nurses and doctors begin to refuse to work the evening shifts. And how would we expect health professionals to do their work diligently, when they are always looking over their shoulders in fear that some unscrupulous individuals might walk in as they please and attack them.
Government has a responsibility to provide a safe, conducive environment for its employees, and as the main employer in the country, it should indeed lead by example.
Hopefully, our government will heed this call, and provide the necessary security for health professional and patients.