The Independent Practitioners Association Foundation (IPAF), umbrella body for the country’s IPAs, has issued a ‘very important plea’ to the South African government and judiciary in the wake of the two shooting incidents that occurred in Soweto and Hillbrow general practices during the past two weeks.

Soweto GP Dr George Koboka was shot dead in his consulting rooms just after lunch Friday a week ago, and four men entered Dr Khalid Mokadam’s Hillbrow surgery early afternoon last Monday and shot him in the chest before fleeing.

“IPAF and our IPA member groups would like to urge government and law enforcement agencies to do everything in their power to prevent these incidents, to protect our medical fraternity  and to bring to justice the perpetrators of the heinous crimes!” the foundation’s CEO, Dr Unben Pillay, has stressed in the communique.

IPAF, he reiterated, was extremely worried about the recent increase in crime and in the spate of violent attacks on medical practices, emergency services and at larger medical facilities.

“We would also like to implore all our valued doctors to place the utmost importance on their personal and their practice’s safety and security.”

In this regard he took the opportunity to repeat the advice offered to solo medical practices by the SAPS recently:

·         Only take booked patients/clients – no walk-ins!

·         Record details such as contact numbers and address on booking and phone to confirm appointment beforehand

·         Notify new patients/ clients that there is no waiting room space for friends or family when making a booking. Use discretion with existing     patients and clients

·         Make sure panic buttons are working and available and clearly marked

·         Don’t leave security and property gates open

·         Always make sure somebody is in reception at all times

·         Don’t leave valuable items lying around unnecessarily

·         Keep reception clear and call patients to come in a bit later if there is a delay

*Doctors have been advised to contact their local IPAs should they require any advice or assistance on their safety and security.