Hospersa threatens to withdraw EMS staff in the Cape

The union's Noel Desfontaines says government and police appear to be passing the buck when it comes to dealing with attacks on emergency personnel.

FILE: A paramedic reports a new patient to the control room at Tygerberg Hospital. Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN - Emergency medical workers affiliated to trade union Hospersa could withdraw their services following the death of an eight-year-old patient during an attack on paramedics.

The ambulance the nine-year-old boy was travelling in was targeted on the N2 highway this week.

He was on his way to hospital following a car crash.

Hospersa’s Noel Desfontaines says while government and police appear to be passing the buck when it comes to dealing with attacks on emergency personnel, people are dying.

He says as a desperate measure, members working in this sector have considered withdrawing their services.

“We don’t want that to happen, but the Department of Health has given us no option but to withdraw services until the demand is met.

"Something has got to be done, drastic moves have got to be taken now regarding the attacks on those EMS personnel. We just cannot sit back.”

Desfontaines estimates there've been about 79 attacks on emergency workers in the Cape so far, this year.

More than a 100 attacks were reported in the province last year.

Hospersa says letters written to provincial government and the Health Ministry requesting intervention regarding attacks on emergency personnel have borne no fruit.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)