SA Medical Association urges govt to intervene to stop EMS attacks

The South African Medical Association says that reports indicate that there have been more than 200 attacks on emergency medical services staff since 2012.

FILE: An ambulance. Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN - The South African Medical Association has added its voice to calls for government intervention to help stop attacks on emergency personnel.

The association and trade union Hospersa have expressed outrage in reaction to the death of an eight-year-old boy after an ambulance was targeted on the N2 highway during the early hours of Wednesday morning.

The child was being transported from a day hospital to Red Cross Children's Hospital after sustaining severe head injuries in a car crash on Tuesday night.

The South African Medical Association says that reports indicate that there have been more than 200 attacks on emergency medical services staff since 2012.

The association has labelled this week's attack as outrageous and sickening, adding that to just simply condemn these incidents, is not enough.

Hospersa’s Noel Desfontaines has warned, as a desperate measure, members have considered withdrawing their services.

“We don’t want that to happen and the Health Department has given us no option. It is more common in the Western Cape, although we have seen in other areas as well.”

Western Cape Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo is on Friday expected to provide details around the province’s emergency medical services safety plan.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)