Raeesa Kimmie
2 minute read
5 Dec 2018
1:57 pm

Man arrested for allegedly harassing nurse at Vaalwater Clinic

Raeesa Kimmie

Nurses have stopped working night shifts following the incident due to safety concerns.

A screenshot of the assault incident.

The MEC for health in Limpopo, Dr Phophi Ramathuba, has welcomed the arrest of a man captured on cellphone video footage harassing and assaulting a nurse on duty at the Vaalwater Clinic.

The man allegedly assaulted the nurse after she refused to act out of policy and re-issue his companion with a second birth notification form as per his demands, reports Polokwane Review.

ALSO READ: Nurses leave clinic in protest against attack

By law, birth and death notification forms can only be issued once for every individual in order to avoid corruption and collusion, said the spokesperson for the department, Neil Shikwambana.

“The nurse in question acted in the best interest of government and the country as guided by the law. It is for this reason that the department did not hesitate to report the man to the police,” he said.

The man’s arrest follows MEC Ramathuba’s visit to the clinic on Tuesday, where she held meetings with the police, community stakeholders, organised labour, and nursing staff.

During the visit, the MEC reassured employees the department was committed to protecting them under any circumstances. She said the arrest should serve as a warning and a deterrent to anyone who dared commit any form of criminal activity in a health facility and further called on communities to neither harass nor assault staff members, but rather to escalate their complaints in line with the department’s complaint process mechanisms.

MEC Ramathuba explained: “Communities have a responsibility to protect our staff and facilities, even where they think there are misunderstandings. If they are not satisfied with the kind of service they receive, they need to escalate complaints to us, as authorities, so that we deal with them. If they dare assault them, we will have to have them arrested.”

She went on further to say that clinics which are open overnight, do so in order to handle emergency cases and that communities need to utilise them for that purpose only.

“The perpetrator in the case in question was not even a patient but he came to demand an administrative service after hours and that we condemn.”

The department is now working with community stakeholders and organised labour to ensure the clinic runs for 24 hours again as soon as possible, as nurses have stopped working night shifts following the assault incident.

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