Police are searching for five armed men who executed a robbery at the Joubertina Hospital in the Eastern Cape on Friday.

This follows the hijacking of a departmental vehicle earlier this week in Libode.

At the Jourbertina Hospital, it is believed that five men pretended to require medical assistance.

Once the security officer opened the gate for them, they produced firearms.

The police are still investigating the matter but initial information indicates that the robbers only demanded the keys to state vehicles and medicines.

The robbers tied up the guard and four hospital staff members with packing tape before fleeing in the hospital’s bakkie and sedan.

The health department says the vehicles were found abandoned not far from the hospital. Nobody was injured in the incident and nothing was taken from staff or patients.

Meanwhile, the Eastern Cape Department of Health says it is concerned over the recent spate of crimes targeting its institutions.

Spokesperson for the Department, Sizwe Kupelo, says the robberies are having a negative impact on communities.

He says: “We cannot attempt to militarise our hospitals, we are not running security establishments. We are running public health facilities where we have got to provide health services to our people.”

“So limiting the service is not an option but fighting crime together with communities can be the solution.”