Doctors in private practice are besieged by criminals who pretend to be patients and vacate their bank accounts, steal their devices and take drugs such as antiretrovirals and cough syrup.
In the most recent incident, the former Special Der Advisor to the National Ministry of Health and General Practitioner Dr. Esthras Tlou Moloko was attacked Tuesday in his Germiston practice on the East Rand.
Moloko, 62, was badly beaten and believed he was going to die.
Two men entered the practice , one posed as a patient.
“When someone was standing at my door, I saw him pull out a gun. The only thing I could do was get him. “
Moloko tried to point the gun away from him and at the robber.
” I thought I could pull the trigger, but it seems that the safety lock was on. Suddenly I felt myself being hit on my head and face, which appeared to be with an iron bar. I was bleeding so badly that the blood flowed into my eyes. “
His attacker was able to escape Moloko’s grip and both attackers left without taking anything.
” I’m back. The practice, when you return we will speak again ” “” said Moloko.
The SA Medical Association (Sama) this week condemned escalating crimes against doctors, saying it has received reports of more than 30 robberies since mid-2020 in private practices in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal , Eastern Cape and Free State.
Sama Vice President Dr. Mvuyisi Mzukwa said: “We believe they have cash on the premises regardless of the speed point machines, which are more convenient.”
In some cases, drugs were stolen.
Dr. Prudence Buthelezi, Secretary General of the National Health Care Professional The Association described the situation as a “national crisis”.
“It are not just doctors involved in crime, but also paramedics.
“We’ll g reports on paramedics, di e are robbed when they gather patients. A medic was shot dead about two months ago during a robbery in the Free State. “
Buthelezi believes the Covid-19 pandemic exacerbated crimes against health professionals over the past year due to unemployment and rising poverty.
” Recently we did in one Clinic in Mpumalanga received a report on the incarceration of nurses and the collection of ARVs.
ARVs or cough syrup used as part of their substance abuse. “
Buthelezi recently closed her practice in KaNyamazane, Mpumalanga, and moved to the center of Nelspruit after being robbed three times.
Dr. Norman Mabasa, a general practitioner in Kagiso, Krugersdorp, and a former Limpopo health MEC, was also the victim of a criminal attack on his practice.
“Doctors are completely besieged and are considered soft targets. The thugs made an informed decision to follow the money and not bother with small amounts of cash doctors might have in their offices. “
Mabasa’s security for armed reactions could not be called because of load shedding.
” One of them took my cards and went to withdraw the money and bought alcohol for about R 6,000 during the others asked me for medical advice about a rash.
“One of the robbers took bottles of cough syrup before they escaped. “
National Police spokeswoman Brig Vish Naidoo said,” We do not categorize our crimes by race, color, or occupation.
“We encourage the SA Medical Association to join in to get in touch so we can discuss and move this situation forward.
“I will alert Crime Intelligence and our detective to conduct an analysis on this matter. “