Trade unions to march to Parly over increased attacks on paramedics

Hospersa says withdrawing paramedics from some of the Cape’s most dangerous areas is not an easy decision to make.

FILE: A Western Cape health paramedic. Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN - Trade union Health and Other Services Personnel Trade Union of South Africa (Hospersa) says withdrawing paramedics from some of the Cape’s most dangerous areas is not an easy decision to make.

Hospersa and Federation of Unions of South Africa (Fedusa) are planning to march to Parliament next week over escalating levels of violence against emergency medical service workers.

In the most recent incident, an eight-year-old patient died after armed robbers attacked the ambulance he was being transported in along the N2.

The trade unions are preparing a memorandum with a list of demands, which will be handed over to parliamentary officials next week.

They say it’s time the defence, police and labour ministries urgently address their concerns about the unsafe working conditions of its members.

Hospersa, in November, warned emergency medical workers could withdraw their services in dangerous areas.

It’s however added paramedics have a duty to serve the community and it becomes very difficult to refuse when urgent help is needed.

There have been more than 60 attacks on ambulance crews in the province this year.