Nurses at Motherwell Clinic Health centre in Port Elizabeth are fearing for their safety following several attacks by patients. And now, out of frustration, the staff at the clinic have downed tools refusing to work until the health department responds to their safety concerns.

In a recent incident, a psychiatric patient attacked a nurse while on duty.

Monday was the fourth day and the nurses the clinic refuse to work.  They say their safety is compromised, following the recent attack on a nurse.  This was preceded by another attack on a general worker by a patient while he was waiting for his medication at the pharmacy area.

Nurses say the security at the clinic is not sufficient and more must be done to safeguard the staff.  They also complain that management was made aware of these incidences but never did anything to assist.

They have been on strike since Thursday last week and have vowed to continue to down tools until all their demands are met.

Patients were turned away and are suffering as a result of the strike.

Department of Health spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo says they are attending to the matter.

He says they are determined to get the clinic open soon.