KZN Netcare hospitals scramble for medical supplies after looters hit supplier

Looters targeted one of the hospital group's biggest suppliers.

Netcare's Kingsway Hospital in Amanzimtoti in KwaZulu-Natal. Picture: www.netcarehospitals.co.za

JOHANNESBURG - Amid more ongoing and widespread looting, Netcare hospitals in KwaZulu-Natal have had to scramble to ensure they had enough medical supplies to operate on Tuesday.

Looters targeted one of the hospital group's biggest suppliers.

Netcare CEO Dr Richard Friedland: "Our major supplier of pharmaceutical goods had their distribution centre looted and so we've had to fly in emergency good late this afternoon and we'll continue to do so to ensure that we maintain services."

At the same time, a journalist in KwaZulu-Natal said that the situation there remained exceptionally tense.

Des Erasmus said that recent days had been unlike anything she's experienced in eThekwini.

"This has been surreal, I've never experienced anything like this in my life and I've been doing this for a long time. People that I've spoken to have said that same. The police have said to me that it's absolutely surreal. When I woke up this morning, it was the first time in 72 hours that I did not hear gunshots for at least five hours."

Meanwhile, the Health Department said that the country's vaccination programme had been continuing across most provinces, however, health services in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng had been impacted due to the unrest.

The department said that riots had impacted the rollout and had also disrupted access to essential health services, including the collection of chronic medication in some districts.

The Health Department said that government and the private sector were adopting a precautionary approach and would be temporarily closing some vaccination sites that had been damaged or may be at risk.

Download the Eyewitness News app to your iOS or Android device.