Authorities yet to determine impact of Nehawu strike on critically ill patients

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Health authorities say they can’t confirm whether reported deaths at hospitals are linked to the ongoing public service strike action.

This week, workers affiliated with the Nehawu went on strike at hospitals and other state facilities, despite government obtaining a court order barring the union’s wage strike.

There have been numerous reports of intimidation of non-striking staff and patients being prevented from accessing some facilities. Health Department’s Deputy Director General, Percy Mahlathi elaborates.

“We actually have a serious situation and no one should underplay it. Yesterday was quite intense, there are pockets today that have been intense, it’s too early to say that we can ascribe certain deaths directly to the strike but clearly there’s been a lot of concern from many of the clinician to make sure that they actually save, especially the critically ill patients. I think by some time later this week or early next week, we’ll be able to respond appropriately to that question.”

Meanwhile, Minister of Health Joe Phaahla will conduct a site-visit to Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital in Johannesburg. Minister Phaahla decided to cut short his diary commitments which included oral response to questions in Parliament, Cape Town.