EC DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH DENOUNCED THE EMS STRIKE AND CRIMINAL ACTS CONDUCTED BY SOME EMS PRACTITIONERS IN THE AMATHOLE DISTRICT

By Siposethu Hashe

A wildcat protest action by certain EMS employees in the Amathole district and King Williams Town has been noted with significant concern by the Department.

The strike is unprotected, and the Department is responding in accordance with the Labour Relations Act’s requirements. This includes enforcing the no-work, no-pay concept, reporting unethical behaviour to appropriate agencies such as the Health Professional Council of South Africa, and requesting a court injunction.

It is emphasized explicitly that EMS employees provide an essential service, guided by the Health Professions Council of SA’s code of conduct and other prescripts. Staff cannot accept refusal to respond to emergencies as means of raising concerns since it puts the lives of the poor and vulnerable in danger. The department of health does not accept this behaviour, and individuals who refuse to answer the phone will face consequences.

Management is dedicated to finding a solution to problems that affect employees, those taking part in the strike are urged to rethink their current activities.

EMS professionals that were involved in the strike have been instructed to return to their workstations and focus on what they vowed to do to ‘save lives’ while the engagement process takes place.

Every illegal crime including the destruction of 23 departments’ emergency fleets and the pelting of private ambulances with stones while responding to emergency situations in the vicinity have already been submitted to the appropriate law enforcement agencies. Such criminality is treated with the utmost contempt.– 

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