SAFETY OF PUBLIC HOSPITALS IN SOUTH AFRICA: AN EXAMINATION OF SAFETY AND SECURITY MEASURES AT FIVE PUBLIC HOSPITALS IN GAUTENG, SOUTH AFRICA
Public hospitals are regularly confronted by safety and security breaches that expose employees, patients, and visitors to serious and violent crimes such as assault, rape, murder and theft. Furthermore, assets such as computer equipment, medical files, medical equipment, and medicines are frequently stolen from state hospitals. This paper is aimed at is aimed at identifying security gaps and shortcomings in the provision of security services so that recommendations can be formulated to address the assessed risks and other threats. Furthermore, the paper described the effectiveness of safety and security measures that are currently employed in public hospitals. A qualitative study was conducted at five public hospitals in the province of Gauteng. Data was collected through one-on-one in-depth interviews with 30 key participants who were selected through purposive sampling. Additionally, safety and security documents were analysed, followed by observation of security personnel in the control rooms. The research confirmed that inadequate security systems regarding perimeter fences, closed‑circuit television and trained security personnel at the research sites made it difficult to deter, detect and detain perpetrators. Furthermore, the use of a Security Risk Management Model developed specifically for public hospitals during this research is recommended.
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