Allow those who are sick to receive medical attention, North West health dept begs protesters

2018-05-09 14:01
Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi addresses the media during his visit at the Unit 9 Health Centre to assess the situation amid Nehawu strike in Mahikeng. (Tiro Ramatlhatse, Gallo Images, Sowetan, file)

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi addresses the media during his visit at the Unit 9 Health Centre to assess the situation amid Nehawu strike in Mahikeng. (Tiro Ramatlhatse, Gallo Images, Sowetan, file)

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Patients at Tshepong Hospital in Klerksdorp, North West, have been left stranded after angry protesters stormed in and forced doctors and nurses out of the wards on Wednesday morning.

"Protesters chased staff from the wards and the patients were left stranded. Those who were coming to perform their duties in the morning were barred from entering the hospital," said the hospital's public relations officer, Nico Masiu.

Health services in the province have been affected after the National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union embarked on a strike two months ago.

READ: Doctors unable to enter Tshepong Hospital as protest action continues in North West

Masiu said, in the past two weeks, the hospital had been forced to send patients home.

"The protesters would come and disrupt everything and then, two to three hours later, they would then go home. We don't know what to do. We have requested intervention from the police," he said.

News24 previously reported that President Cyril Ramaphosa had decided to place the North West health department under the administration of the national government in the wake of the protests.

DEVELOPING: Vocal Mahumapelo supporters cause tension outside PEC meeting venue

He appointed a team - under the leadership of Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma - to get to the bottom of the crisis, which has also been exacerbated by protests calling for the removal of Premier Supra Mahumapelo.

Provincial health spokesperson Tebogo Lekgethwane described the situation at Tshepong Hospital as tense, saying it was using skeleton staff.

He added that only critically ill patients and emergencies were being attended to.

"We are appealing to people that they can protest, but they must allow those who are sick to receive medical attention," he said.

Meanwhile, North West police spokesperson Brigadier Sabata Mokgwabone said he was not aware of the incident.

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Read more on:    mahikeng  |  protests  |  healthcare

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