Ricochet News

Eastern Cape health department fires four paramedics for misconduct

Oct 21, 2015
Eastern Cape health department fires four paramedics for misconduct

Four paramedics have been fired by the Eastern Cape health department for serious misconduct, the department said on Wednesday.

"The officials were accused of various charges including having sex with a patient in an ambulance, mismanagement of patients, taking fake sick leave in order to go and work for a private company, fraud and patient neglect which resulted in death of patients," spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo told News24.

"The official accused of sex in an ambulance was found not guilty of this charge due to lack of evidence but was dismissed for other serious violations."

Beyond the four fired paramedics, another three were suspended for three months without pay.

Kupelo reiterated the department's stance on allegations of fraud, corruption and maladministration, saying anyone accused of such misconduct would face decisive action from the department. 

"To illustrate this position we have engaged services of Sizwe Ntsaluba, PwC and Deloitte and Touche to investigate a series of other allegations of job appointment irregularities in the department." Emergency staff targeted by criminals

Meanwhile, the department was very concerned about emergency service staff being targeted by criminals. This was after paramedics were robbed at gunpoint as they responded to a hoax emergency call in New Brighten, Port Elizabeth, earlier this month.
"Last Sunday night, two gunmen entered Willowvale Community Health Centre and threatened nurses and security personnel," Kupelo said.
"The department and Tyeks private security company, [and] SAPS are meeting community members to discuss the security situation and possible arrest of the suspects."
On Wednesday morning, community members blockaded roads leading to a clinic in Elliotdale, protesting against lack of electricity in the village.
The department condemned the attacks and disruption of health services, and vowed to work with police to ensure the safety of patients and health personnel in all of its facilities.