Cosatu calls for health workers' security

Johannesburg - The recent assault of a nurse at Helen Joseph Hospital showed there was a need for better security for health workers, the Congress of SA Trade Unions said on Wednesday.

"This case is an example of cases that show the conditions under which 'essential service' workers find themselves working," Cosatu spokesperson Patrick Craven said in a statement.

"Their lives are threatened by the very people whose lives they work hard on a daily basis to save."

The Gauteng health department last week said a phlebotomist nurse was attacked at the hospital on August 29.

Democratic Alliance Gauteng health spokesperson Jack Bloom claimed she was raped.

The department said that security had been beefed up at the hospital since the attack.

Craven said that Cosatu wanted the hospital's management and the Gauteng health MEC to give a report on the attack and why security was compromised that night.

"Cosatu is dismayed, disgusted and more concerned that the incident happened towards the end of the Women's Month celebrations, but more ashamed that it happened in the hospital that is named after Helen Joseph, a heroine and anti-apartheid activist and who supported the Freedom Charter...

"Cosatu will be meeting with the union that organises in Helen Joseph Hospital to plan action to support the survivor and the family and to make sure that the perpetrator is brought before the law and sentenced accordingly."

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