‘Medics must get free aid’
Union says government needs to pay for medics’ trauma counselling.
The Health and Other Service Personnel Trade Union of South Africa (Hospersa) wants the government to pay for the treatment of ambulance staff who have survived attacks on them while responding to calls.
Hospersa, in a letter to Western Cape Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo yesterday, says there are more than 50 of its members who are receiving post-traumatic stress treatment as a result of such attacks.
The union said there were more than 100 cases reported last year.
“The most recent attacks took place during the festive season where a total of seven incidents were reported. These attacks included cases of armed robbery, stoning of EMS vehicles and the mishandling of staff over their personal belongings,” Hospersa said in a statement.
Affected employees were expected to pay for their own treatment because such cases were not covered by the the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and
“We want the MEC to intervene in easing the financial burden on the affected members,” said Hospersa.
Hospersa has previously raised its concerns about safety with the health authorities in the Western Cape.
“On 14 September 2016, EMS members took part in a march through Philippi to send a strong message about the rising attacks.
“On the day, paramedics were joined by the MEC who assured EMS staff that she would stop the service should the attacks continue,” said Hospersa.