STOP Violence against Healthcare Workers
It is with deepest regret that HcHeroes Memorial yet again report the tragic loss of life of our own heroes – OFS Paramedic Mr Sello Khoele and Dr Aubrey “Oupa” Choene. The sharp increase in violence against our fellow colleagues is outrageous and despicable. We call upon society & Hon Ministers of Police & Health to address this as a matter of urgency before we are left thin on the ground with regard to provision of decent healthcare & emergency services to the citizens of this country. “Covid took away too many of us that we can’t afford, as a country, to lose even a single one of us” HcHeroes Memorial Team
About 61.9% of all healthcare workers in South Africa experienced at least one incident of physical or psychological workplace violence (verbal abuse, bullying/mobbing, racial & sexual harassment) over the last 12 months. There are over 135 respondents reported having been physically attacked in the workplace. Also, during December 2020 the violence against healthcare workers was on the rise.
Most violence is perpetrated by patients and visitors. Also, in the disaster and conflict situations, health workers may become the targets of collective or political violence. Categories of health workers most at risk include nurses and other staff directly involved in patient care, emergency room staff or paramedics.
Since March 2020 the world has been in through an unforeseen pandemic, causing anxiety, anger and uncertainty and seems to cause people to act even more differently. South Africa is not new to violence which is still one fo the biggest concerns in the country. However, violence against healthcare workers has increased. Our healthcare heroes are being injured and killed just because people are angry or uncertain about their future. There are no safety nets in place for our healthcare workers to even feel relatively safe, at least from violence from the people they are working to help.
In South Africa, we need the Ministers of Health & Police to work together with health institutions to keep our healthcare workers safe from violence, be it physical or emotional.
The Healthcare Workers Heroes Memorial works to remember and celebrate our healthcare heroes and it is with sadness that we have to add more names to the Digital Honour Roll, especially when these deaths are so needless. Our healthcare workers keep us safe and alive while risking their own. We need to stand together and look after them. We need to look after our fellow countrymen.
Join Mediwell Dainfern Medical & Dental Centre and the Healthcare Workers Heroes Memorial in keeping our healthcare workers safe and helping them do their jobs. Let’s voice our concerns among our friends and social media so that these heroes are remembered and kept safe. Contact us and find out what else you can do.
Please sign our PETITION: Doctors and Healthcare workers’ Lives Matter. It will help us raise awareness about this terrible blight and show the government that we need to do more.