North West Health to avail armed guards to protect EMS personnel

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The North West Department of Health says it will work together with the South African Police Service and the Security Cluster to avail armed guards to escort ambulances in crime hotspot areas.

This comes after two female ambulance crew were attacked while attending to a call at Jouberton in Klerksdorp.

Spokesperson, Tebogo Lekgethwane, says the department is disturbed by continuing criminal attacks on health workers.

“The department is disturbed by these continued criminal attacks on our health workers and that is why MEC Madoda Sambatha has come out very strong against the latest incident where two female EMS personnel were attacked when they were responding to a call at Jouberton. Fortunately, none of our EMS got injured because two men had to run away when the person from the house was screaming but these continued attacks put fear on our health professionals.”


Meanwhile in Gauteng, CEO of the South African Private Ambulance and Emergency Services Association (SAPAESA), Oliver Wright says the attacks on paramedics in the province will ultimately see communities suffering from a lack of emergency services.

He was reacting as the police have now established a team of detectives to investigate the increased number of attacks on healthcare workers, as reported last week.

In late June, a Gauteng Emergency Medical Services crew was hijacked, kidnapped, assaulted and robbed of their personal belongings in Mamelodi, Pretoria. The criminals also stole their bank cards.

Wright says it’s disappointing that those who risk their lives to help communities are now fearful of doing their jobs.

VIDEO | Two emergency service workers narrowly escape attack in Tshwane: 

-Report by Kagiso Keipopele, additional reporting by Prabashini Moodley