Eastern Cape Health Department condemns attacks on EMS crews


A second EMS ambulance crew was attacked and robbed within a single week in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro on Thursday morning.

The Eastern Cape Health Department has condemned the attack after the crew were held at knife and gunpoint at Kwazakhele Site & Service at approximately 4AM. The crew members were robbed of their phones and wallets by six armed men while they were attending to and treating a diabetic patient.

Health Department Spokesperson, Siyanda Manana, told AlgoaFM News that it’s the second attack on an ambulance crew in four days. The first attack took place in the same area on Sunday morning. Manana believes they were both opportunistic criminal attacks on vulnerable targets.

“It is something we never contemplated would happen. We condemn it and we call upon the community to work with us in ensuring we uproot all these elements in our community, because what they are doing is to deny our people access to care,” Manana said.

Manana added that the Health Department is seriously reconsidering sending their health crews into certain areas of the Metro surroundings.

"We are going to look at a situation, in certain times when it is dark, we are not going to allow our ambulances and expose them to such dangers. We might then be forced to have police escorts or patients must be taken to their nearest police station" he added.

Image source: Nicky Brand http://www.grocotts.co.za/content/psam-ec-health-department-bankrupt-09-02-2010