Citizen Reporter
1 minute read
10 May 2017
3:52 pm

More than 100 nurses attacked in Gauteng hospitals

Citizen Reporter

Attacks varied from verbal assault, physical altercation and, in some cases, nurses being bitten by patients

Trucks line up in front of the Gauteng Department of Health head office on Sauer Street, Johannesburg. Soweto. Picture: Valentina Nicol

Staff in Gauteng hospitals have been attacked 107 times since January last year, mostly by patients or their relatives.

This was revealed by Gauteng health MEC Gwen Ramokgopa in a written reply to questions posed by DA health spokesperson Jack Bloom.

Tembisa Hospital had the most attacks on staff, with 16 incidents reported, followed by Weskoppies with 13 attacks, Leratong with 12 and Pholosong with eight incidents.

The Chris Hani Baragwanath, George Mukhari, Helen Joseph and Far East Rand hospitals all experienced seven attacks on staff in the same time period.

Other institutions that reported incidents of staff members being assaulted on duty include Kalafong and Sterkfontein with six, South Rand with five, and Steve Biko Mamelodi and Tambo Memorial with three incidents each. Thello Mogoerane, Bertha Gxowa, Carletonville, Odi and Pretoria West all reported once incident each.

“The assaults range from verbal threats and abuse, to physical attacks and a disturbing number of bites [13 in total],” said Bloom.

Charlotte Maxeke Hospital in the CBD was the only healthcare facility that reported zero incidents.

At Tembisa Hospital, the recorded incidents included one verbal assault from a visitor, two verbal assaults from patients, seven physical assaults from patients, human bites from three patients, two physical assaults from visitors and a fellow colleague assaulting a hospital employee.

“At the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, an employee accused a colleague of being a witch and a nurse threatened a fellow employee with a knife,” Ramokgopa revealed.

According to Ramokgopa, the identified reasons include frustrated or traumatised patients, alcohol abuse, bad attitudes and some psychotic mental health patients. She said many attacks took place at night or over the weekend, particularly at the casualty department.