HOSPERSA SLAMS LATEST CAPE TOWN AMBULANCE ATTACK
06 September 2017
Hospersa has slammed the recent attack on an ambulance in Western Cape last week. The attacks on Emergency Medical Services (EMS) workers continues to be a thorn in the flesh in the Western Cape. The Union calls on government to deploy the national defence force to address the crisis which has seen the scourge of attacks on EMS workers’ increasing at an alarming rate.
According to reports, EMS staff were unable to reach a patient in Mitchells Plain and had to leave the area when they and the police came under attack in Rocklands. It is reported that the police vehicle escort was stoned and shot at. The incident took place on Saturday, 2 September 2017 when EMS staff were responding to a call at 11:48pm. No injuries on the EMS staff was reported and the patient was later treated and taken to hospital.
“We strongly condemn these attacks on EMS workers,” said Hospersa Western Cape Provincial Secretary, Marthenique Marinus. “Government needs to escalate the safety of EMS workers by deploying the national defence force as police escorts have yielded little success. It is irresponsible to expect our members to work under such unsafe conditions,” added Marinus.
Hospersa has now sent an urgent email to the National Department of Health (NDoH), demanding urgent intervention. This is after the Union’s members have called for the services to be removed. The NDoH is yet to respond to the email.
“Government’s response in addressing this issue continues to be too slow,” argued Marinus. “We know that it is our members’ duty to respond to calls, but currently they are putting their lives at risk. We are going to urgently meet with our members to address their calls for the services to be removed,” added Marinus.
Hospersa has previously called for national intervention from the politicians to address the scourge of attacks on EMS workers in the country. These attacks have been increasing at an alarming rate where this year has seen several incidents reported in not just the Western Cape, but in KwaZulu-Natal , Gauteng, Free State and in Limpopo. In the case of the Western Cape, there were over 100 attacks in 2016, which prompted Hospersa to write an open letter to the Western Cape Health Member of the Executive Council (MEC) about the issue. The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) of which Hospersa is an affiliate, also wrote a similar letter to the Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi requesting intervention at national level.
“We will continue to engage with government on finding a solution to this crisis. What is clear is that ignoring our members’ plea for safe working conditions would only paralyse the service and deprive community members of medical attention at a time when they need it the most,” concluded Marinus.
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For interviews please contact Hospersa Western Cape Provincial Secretary, Marthenique Marinus on 083-652-9397.
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