** South African police arrest 3 men for armed attack on paramedics
** Sick time among Northern Ireland medics rising
SOUTH AFRICA NEWS
** Police in Cape Town have arrested 3 men in connection with the Tuesday armed attack on paramedics in Khayelitsha. WN Eyewitness News (Xolani Koyana/December 29) said the suspects were arrested after a tip. According to the newspaper, two of the men were 19 and had a toy gun. The third suspect was taken into custody after police found items in his possession that belonged to the paramedics. The incident comes just two months after another pair of paramedics was caught in the middle of a gang shooting in Hanover Park.
UNITED KINGDOM NEWS
** Sick time in the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service is becoming costly, with medic absences in the last 3 years costing around 14 million pounds. That is the word from The Belfast Telegraph (Allan Preston/December 29) which said absences between April of 2015 to the previous April amounted to a combined total of some 32,000 days. The stat is up 15 per cent over the previous year in 2013/14. Explanations for the absences centred on musculoskeletal problems, as well as back and other similar lifting related injuries. Other reasons included mental health issues, accidents, and gastrointestinal upsets. Ulster Unionist Party spokesman Jo-Anne Dobson said the government must do more to help already overstretched medics from becoming ill. Health Minister Michelle O’Neill, meanwhile, said in a speech two months ago that she has told health officials to offer more support to EMS personnel.