TAC, Section27 call on Zuma to intervene in Free State hospital strike

2016-09-14 22:46

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QwaQwa - The Treatment Action Campaign and Section27 have called on President Jacob Zuma to intervene in Free State where a hospital strike over overtime pay has led to overcrowding at various surrounding hospitals.

In a joint statement the NGO's called on Zuma to intervene and make sure the employees' demands are met.

Staff at the Mofumahadi Manapo Mopeli Regional Hospital in Phuthaditjhaba, QwaQwa, are reportedly on strike due to lack of payment for overtime worked.

Emergencies are being redirected to Dihlabeng Hospital in Bethlehem which is situated more than 50km away. The hospital is reportedly already overcrowded.

Thebe Hospital and EL Ross Hospital are both also above full capacity. The hospitals have indicated that they cannot accept any patients for caesareans (C-sections) because of a lack of theatre lights and a shortage of doctors on call.

At Bongani Hospital specialists are reported to be threatening to resign.

The Free State Department of Health said in a statement that they were shocked to learn about the Mofumahadi Manapo Mopeli Regional Hospital strike as an agreement had already been reached with the National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu), which is representing the striking workers.

Corrective disciplinary action

According to the department, Nehawu had requested that this agreement be cemented by a letter from the HOD of health, Dr David Motau, which would commit the department to working with the Union in resolving the outlined issues.  

"The meeting with the Nehawu union representatives reached an understanding that the strike would come to an immediate halt and all workers would return to work with immediate effect whilst the engagement for a speedy and amicable [resolution] of the issues outlined was being conducted."

The department requested that all staff return to the hospital with immediate effect.

"We wish to remind the health professionals and allied health workers that are on this illegal strike that they are in breach of their oath of service and public service regulations."

It said it would continue with its attempts to resolve the issues with Nehawu, but that failure by staff to return to work would result in corrective disciplinary action.

Attempts to get comment from Nehawu were not successful at the time of publishing.

Read more on:    tac  |  nehawu  |  bloemfontein  |  health

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