Patients urged to respect medical staff

Monday, March 4, 2013

Pretoria - Gauteng MEC for Health Hope Papo has called on patients and their relatives to refrain from verbally or physically abusing health professionals when seeking medical treatment at clinics or hospitals.

This follows an incident last week where relatives of a patient who was brought in by paramedics from Hillbrow, insulted and manhandled a doctor at the emergency unit of Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital.

According to health workers who were at the scene, the patient was aggressive as the doctor tried to restrain him so he can be assessed. Relatives of the patients then insulted and manhandled the doctor; another doctor had to intervene to calm the situation down.

However, there are daily reports of similar incidents, according to the MEC's office.

“We ask all those who seek health care in our facilities to cooperate with health workers. Insults and attacks against our professionals are unacceptable and will under no circumstance be tolerated. Doctors reserve a right to refuse to provide treatment to abusive individuals and this will not assist patients,” said Papo.

Papo encouraged patient and their relatives to request information about processes being performed and get clarification rather than resorting to the abuse of nurses and doctors. –