Cape Town – An ambulance transporting a critically injured child was reportedly attacked by striking nurses at a KwaZulu-Natal hospital on Wednesday morning.
Reports said that an IPSS Medical Rescue ambulance carrying the child was blocked from entering the General Justice Gizenga Mpanza Regional Hospital in Stanger.
According to News24, IPSS Medical spokesperson Samantha Meyrick said paramedics had been transporting the child on advanced life support to the hospital when protesters stopped the ambulance shortly after 11:00.
Protesters reportedly attempted to remove the child from the ambulance and assaulted one of the paramedics, the report quoted Meyrick as saying.
Striking Nehawu members are calling on government to prioritise employees. Protesters have blocked entrance at the Charlotte Maxeke Hospital in Joburg, preventing patients from seeking medical treatment. Members of the union demand a 10% wage increase and a housing allowance. pic.twitter.com/9vBFJeWVvq
— eNCA (@eNCA) March 8, 2023
Sunday World said that paramedics, however, managed to intervene and whisked the patient away.
Meanwhile, the spokesperson for Nehawu in KwaZulu-Natal, Ayanda Zulu maintained that the industrial action has been peaceful, the report said.
“We had not been made aware of such an incident because our protest is very peaceful. The strike will go on despite any tactics to deligitimise our genuine demands,” he said.
Since the start of the week, there have been wage increase protests in various healthcare facilities.
Nehawu on Wednesday threatened to spread the strike actions across the country, should their demands not be met.
Union members embarked on the strike despite a ruling by the Labour Court which interdicted the action. They are demanding a salary increase of 10-12% instead of the offered – 4.7%.
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Compiled by Betha Madhomu