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11 November 2021

Hospersa, a Union of more than 60 000 health workers in South Africa’s public and private health sector, has condemned the recent attacks on Emergency Medical Service (EMS) personnel in the country.  There has been close to 100 reported EMS attacks in South Africa this year, with fears that this number will increase during the festive season.  Hospersa has called on government to strengthen its efforts in providing a safe working environment for its EMS members.

According to reports, EMS attacks in South Africa are on a rise especially in the Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng provinces.  The most recent attack took place on Monday morning when an ambulance was attacked in Vredenburg, a town in the west coast area of the Western Cape province.  Two EMS personnel sustained serious injuries resulting in one of them being rushed to hospital.  Last month, a KZN EMS personnel lost her life while another critically injured when two gunmen ambushed their ambulance while treating a patient.  In Gauteng, another attack was reported last month when a rock was hurled at a moving ambulance while transporting a patient from a car accident scene.  The spike in EMS attacks has seen nearly 100 incidents reported in 2021 so far, with increased fears that this number will climb rapidly during the festive season.  Hospersa has condemned these attacks and has called for more protection of its members who continue to respond to emergency calls while fearing for their lives.

“We strongly condemn the increasing levels of EMS attacks,” says Hospersa General Secretary, Waheed Hoosen.  “While it is our members duty to respond to calls, it should not be at the expense of their lives.  It is deplorable that there are still individuals who make false emergency phone calls with intention to lure EMS personnel in order to rob them,” added Hoosen.

“Hospersa calls on government to provide a safe work environment which adheres to the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) act,” said Hoosen.  “We cannot have a situation where government continues as if it is business as usual while our members’ lives continue to be at risk.  The state, as the employer, has a legal obligation to prioritise the safety of our EMS members during the execution of their essential medical service,” concluded Hoosen.


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For more information please contact Hospersa General Secretary – Waheed Hoosen 078-082-8370

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