Motsoaledi visits N. West amid devastating health strike

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Nehawu in the North West says it will strike across all spheres of the public sector, if they do not reach an agreement with the Department of Health soon.

Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi visited the Mahikeng Provincial Hospital on Monday. He was assessing the collapse of North West’s public health care sector.

Several clinics in the area have closed and  most of the hospital’s nurses abandoned duty. Nehawu members down tools over alleged corruption and unmet salary demands.

Military officials were deployed on Saturday, resuscitating care at the hospital. Contingency plans are yet to be made, after receiving reports that other hospitals, have followed suit.

“We need to develop a plan, which we will discuss with the army, what we’ll do… because the army said their mandate was only the depot and Mahikeng hospital,” said Motsoaledi.

The strike’s end seems far as Nehawu says mediation has collapsed. If there’s no progress, Nehawu says it will ask other public sectors to strike.

Motsoaledi says some issues fall outside his scope such as recalling North West premier, Supra Mahumapelo.

“The manner in which our laws have been inacted… the situation is that… the way our laws have been constructed… both MEC and me won’t have the powers to remove the HoD.”

Meanwhile,  premier Mahumapelo finally suspended provincial health HoD, Dr Thabo Lekalakala, last week. He was allegedly involved in corruption related to Gupta-linked company, Mediosa.

Motsoaledi said the SANDF would send 17 more nurses and nine additional doctors to assist at Mahikeng’s hospital.

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