PMH Staff Sick Of Sex Pest Patients

Marina staff want to carry out theri duties diligently without fear PIC: MORERI SEJAKGOMO
Marina staff want to carry out theri duties diligently without fear PIC: MORERI SEJAKGOMO

Princess Marina Hospital (PMH) doctors, nurses as well as supporting staff are having a headache of patients who sexually harass them.

PMH is deeply concerned about the continued abuse of staff members while on duty and in service of the public seeking medical attention at the hospital. It has been years since workers at PMH reported sexual assault at the hands of their patients.

On Thursday PMH hospital management broke their silence and released a statement on assault of hospital staff by patients.

Reached for comment, PMH’s chief public relations and communication officer, Donnell Kutlapye conceded that the hospital staff faced incessant assault from patients.  He pleaded with members of the public to change their attitude towards hospital staff.

“Assaults of hospital staff by patients has been going on for years. It is one of the hurdles that we are currently facing. The hospital is deeply concerned about continued abuse of staff members while on duty by members of the public seeking medical attention at the hospital,” Kutlapye said.

In the statement, Kutlapye said they have been reporting cases of assault to the police. He said despite numerous pleas on various communication mediums, their staff continued to be harassed while on duty by patients. 

“Recently a nurse was beaten by an in-patient while trying to assist him. Others have been verbally abused, spat on, manhandled and others sexually harassed. We therefore call on the general public to desist from such acts lest they be denied the service they need,” the statement read.

Kutlapye said the public has to exercise restraint so that the staff can carry out its duties diligently without fear. He stated that in case customers were not happy with the service rendered, they have to go through proper channels of communication.

“We humbly request all people seeking medical services to do so with Botho, which is a core value of our existence. We kindly remind the general public that public health facility users have rights that come with responsibilities,” the statement read.

He said two of the responsibilities include cooperating with personnel of such facilities and observing any rules concerning the organisation and operation of such health establishment as well as respecting the rights and susceptibilities of other patients, clients and staff.

Asked about the hospital’s assault reports, Central Police station commander, superintendent, Mothusi Phadi said he was not aware of any escalating assaults at PMH.

“We do not have such reports here. If they are any, they might have been reported whilst I was still not at this station, but I have never come across such cases. I am aware of only one assault case, which was recently reported and is still under investigation.

“That case was treated like any other assault case, we did not say since it occurred at the hospital, it will be treated differently,” Phadi said. Phadi said he was not aware of any sexual nor emotional abuse cases on the rise at PMH and if such cases did occur, hospital management might be treating them internally.

Editor's Comment
What about employees in private sector?

How can this be achieved when there already is little care about the working conditions of those within the private sector employ?For a long time, private sector employees have been neglected by their employers, not because they cannot do better to care for them, but because they take advantage of government's laxity when it comes to protecting and advocating for public sector employees, giving the cue to employers within the private sector...

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