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Gauteng Health Workers Demand Action, Not Empty Words, After Nurse Stabbed, Union Tells MEC Nkomo-Ralehoko



The Health and Allied Workers Indaba Trade Union (Haitu) has criticised the Gauteng Department of Health for its alleged failure to ensure the safety of patients and staff. The union expressed concern after assailants attacked a male nurse at the Helen Joseph Hospital in Johannesburg as reported by IOL.

The attackers had escorted a man who had been stabbed in hand into the hospital before assaulting the nurse, who was on a smoke break. The perpetrators were captured on CCTV footage, which Haitu hopes will assist the police in their efforts to apprehend them.

Bafana Tshabalala, Haitu’s Gauteng provincial chairperson, argued that the union was dissatisfied with the department’s response to the incident. Tshabalala added that the department relied on short-term security contracts renewed monthly and had been doing so for six years, which the Auditor General has identified as irregular expenditure.

Such contracts are costly but fail to safeguard hospital workers, who are still being attacked and stolen from daily. Tshabalala called for the department to cancel the contracts and hire qualified security personnel directly to ensure that hospitals and clinics are safe patient spaces.

In a statement earlier this week, Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko, the MEC of Health, condemned the nurse’s attack in the hospital parking lot. The two perpetrators exhibited unruly behaviour in the hospital’s accident and emergency department, demanding that hospital staff attend to their friend ahead of other patients with more severe injuries.


The two men had also argued with hospital staff and other escorts accompanying other patients. One of the attackers even slapped another escort who was with a patient. Security personnel intervened, and the two assailants fled the scene after they attempted to rob the health worker failed.

Photo by RODNAE Productions 

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