Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu has called on patients, their family members and the public at large to quit assaulting health workers in the province.
Mahlangu expressed concern about the increasing rate of attacks on health workers at public health facilities in the province.
She stressed that the physical and verbal assault of health workers must stop as she disclosed that the province recently recorded 20 assaults at Weskoppies Psychiatric Hospital, nine at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital, seven at Pholosong Hospital and four at Dr George Mukhari Academic Hospital.
According to her, it is disturbing that about 65 health professionals were assaulted while performing their duties at the public health facilities between January 2015 to date.
Mahlangu directed patients who experience difficulties in any health institution to report their concerns to quality assurance officers based at the institutions instead of assulting the health professionals.
“If they are not satisfied, they must report to facility managers. Their concerns will be thoroughly investigated,” she promise.
“Attacks on health professionals are completely unacceptable. It will not be tolerated,” Mahlangu warned as she “encouraged the health professionals to treat patients with care, dignity, respect and act with constraint even during confrontation.”
With that, she iterated that “health professionals should be respected and protected by society as they are vital in the delivery of quality health care. Such violent actions are taken seriously and will be reported to the police,” she added.
Meanwhile, the department highlighted the under-listed as measures put in place to curb the attacks.
- Security personnel are allocated at the emergency medical departments and mental health wards (high risk ward). Physical barriers are also present.
- Patients brought in by the police or Correctional Services are kept under guard and psychiatric hospitals staff is continuously trained on management of aggressive patients.
- Aggressive and violent patients in wards are sedated and isolated in seclusion rooms. All wards at psychiatric hospitals have CCTV cameras to assist in monitoring patients continuously.