Two paramedics from a private ambulance service were allegedly held against their will for two hours at Durban’s King Edward Hospital after nurses refused to attend to patients they had brought in, reports The Times. Rescue Care operations director Garrith Jamieson claimed that the hospital’s security guards locked the gates and refused to let the paramedics leave after they had taken photographs of the empty trauma unit and nurses standing together showing no interest in the two patients that were brought in.
He said the two injured patients were brought in from a collision on the M7. “On arrival paramedics found the trauma unit totally empty with no patients inside. The nurses were having a meeting and ignored the paramedics and the patients for approximately 10 minutes‚” he said. “The paramedic then took a picture of the empty trauma unit and the staff standing together showing no interest in the two patients that were brought in for help. This was going to be used to lay a formal complaint against the staff‚” he alleged.
Jamieson claimed in the report that the nurses started shouting at the paramedics and called security when they realised that photographs had been taken. “The nurses complained that they did not want to help as the paramedics had not called the hospital before they came through. The paramedics tried explaining that this is a hospital and should be ready for any emergency at any time as advertised by their board outside saying 24 Hour Emergency.” He alleged that the security guards threatened the paramedics and tried to force them into the security office. “The security gates were closed and locked and the ambulance and staff were not allowed to leave and were held against their will‚” he said.
Police were called in when Rescue Care management were also allegedly threatened when they arrived at the hospital. Rescue Care will be seeking advice to take the matter further, the report says.Full report in The Times