South Africa: MEC Pleads With KZN Communities to Protect Hospitals As Health Services Reach Breaking Point

The MEC for Health in KwaZulu-Natal has delivered an emotional plea to the community for protection as protesters threaten to burn the province’s hospitals, which are running out of food and face an oxygen shortage.

KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Health Nomagugu Simelane has pleaded with communities to protect hospitals, saying they have received information that protesters are planning to burn down the province’s hospitals.

Protesters had hijacked a truck with food meant for a hospital and stolen all the supplies. Simelane said they are requesting that soldiers guard hospitals and escort vehicles to hospitals.

“We cannot go on like this,” she said. “We will start losing lives.”

“We have also begun a process of engaging with hospital boards, who are community-based, to help us reach out to the public and get them to protect our staff and our health facilities.”

She added that they were talking to taxi associations to help them get free passage for health workers to their hospitals and clinics. Simelane said health workers who can’t get to work can now report to any medical facility “to bolster capacity”.

Simelane said many hospitals were running out of food and would soon have an oxygen crisis if nothing changes….

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