Chairperson, I thank the hon Mme Dikgale for the question. In regard to the first part of the question dealing with whether the department has records of the total number of doctors, nurses and paramedics who have been robbed while performing official duties, and the relevant subsections of the question, the number of incidents for doctors for the three financial years from 2009 to 2011 are two, ten and six - that is for the three years - giving a total of 18. For nurses it is four, five and seven, giving a total of 16, and for paramedics it is two, one and two, giving a total of five.
The department is working very closely with the SA Police Service, who, with the community police forums and various civic organisations, have committed themselves to ensuring that our personnel are both escorted and protected whenever they go to problematic areas or areas perceived to be dangerous. The SA Police Service, metro police departments and traffic departments do escort paramedics during visits to communities when additional protection is needed.
However, we would like to say that it is indeed regrettable that when these health workers are there in the communities to save lives, they are the subjects of attacks, and especially if there are threats to their lives per se. It is the duty and responsibility of all of us, as the community, to conscientise members of society to protect these public servants. We also need to take decisive steps to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to book as a deterrent to this kind of behaviour. I thank you.
Position regarding undertaking of audit of security of health care facilities across the country
59. Ms M G Boroto (ANC) asked the Minister of Health:
(1) Whether his department has undertaken an audit or assessment of the security of health care facilities across the country; if not, why not; if so, what is his department's plans to address the (a) incidents of robberies and (b) exposure of (i) health care facilities and (ii) workers to incidents of violence and crime; (2) whether his department will (a) undertake such assessment and (b) devise mechanisms to ensure that health care facilities are secure; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?