Attack by medic an injury to SA

What can drive a medic, a person who has dedicated his or her life to saving those of others, to engage in such an act of violence, the writer asks.
What can drive a medic, a person who has dedicated his or her life to saving those of others, to engage in such an act of violence, the writer asks.
Image: STOCK IMAGE

When an ambulance worker is accused of assaulting another as a result of what appears to be competition between the businesses they work for, you know your country is in serious trouble.

Like doctors, nurses and other health professionals, paramedics are supposed to save lives and not to threaten them.

Even in war situations, it is a universally held practice that health workers are not to be attacked as they are seen as neutral players whose job is to nurse the injured and save lives.

This is why we find it disgusting that criminal networks in some of our townships are now targeting ambulance workers for their criminal activities.

As if this criminal activity is not abominable enough on its own, we now have a case of ambulance drivers physically attacking each other over "business opportunities" of looking after the injured.

Elsewhere in this edition we report on the case of a paramedic who was "viciously attacked", allegedly by a paramedic from a rival ambulance service.

This happened in Midrand, Johannesburg, on Monday at the scene of a car accident that had left a couple of people injured.

According to one of the ambulance services involved, one of their members was attacked while busy helping out the injured.

There are even unconfirmed claims that a knife was pulled during the fracas.

The injured medic was rushed to hospital where he was treated "for facial lacerations and a ruptured eardrum".

SA may be one of the most violent societies in the world but, even by our own standards, this is an embarrassing low.

What can possibly drive a medic, a person who has dedicated his or her life to saving those of others, to engage in such an act of violence.

This incident drives home the need to tackle toxic masculinity which fuels this kind of violent behaviour among South Africans, especially males, of all walks of life.

It is bad enough that the lives of paramedics have been threatened so much that some of them are now lobbying for permission to carry weapons at work for self-defence, they now have to deal with the reality that they may be attacked by their own colleagues?

This is a shame.

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