The Solidarity Occupational Guild for Health Practitioners today announced its five-point plan to take definite action against violence against health practitioners. This comes in the wake of the latest report of a serious attack on a doctor in KwaZulu-Natal while performing her duties. Due to the serious nature of her injuries she had to be admitted to the ICU.
“These attacks are appalling and unacceptable,” said Henru Krüger, Sector Head at the Solidarity Occupational Guild for Health Practitioners. “Doctors fear for their lives and are often threatened with physical violence that even involves knives and firearms.”
“Medical personnel specifically complain that hospital authorities and management are not taking firm and serious action against offenders,” Krüger said. Krüger pointed out that in some cases the doctors even have to treat the offenders. Cases where female practitioners were almost raped have been reported.
The occupational guild makes the safety of health practitioners its priority and insists that strategies must be developed to ensure the safety of medical personnel at all times. In light of this, the Solidarity Occupational Guild for Health Practitioners announced the following five-point plan which aims to:
- Fully inform health practitioners of their rights when it comes to occupational safety;
- Inform health practitioners about the steps that can be taken to air grievances in cases where their occupational safety rights are violated;
- Establish a channel through which health practitioners can communicate with the Occupational Guild for support in cases of abuse;
- Provide training and advice on personal safety at the workplace; and to
- Provide general assistance in cases where health care practitioners need support following incidents that left them overwhelmed and without hope.
Health practitioners are a national asset and must be nurtured. The Solidarity Occupational Guild for Health Care Practitioners will give effect to its five-point plan to ensure that our medical staff can be free, safe and prosperous in their places of work,” Krüger concluded.