Workers, who are affiliated to National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) at the Thusanong District hospital Odendaalsrus in Free State, want the CEO of the hospital, Dr Lucky Madikane to step down.

They accuse Madikane of excessive absenteeism and as a result, critical issues are not handled on time.

Nehawu Regional Secretary, Khauhelo Mnqibisa, says there is shortage of food for patients and of staff at the hospital.

Mnqibisa says their members are overlooked when it comes to skills development and promotions.

“We want to raise the issue that the CEO does not come to the party, but whenever the branch leadership want to come and address issues that affect the members of the hospital, he’s forever not available. There’s a concern over an upward mobility at this hospital. People are not being promoted accordingly.

“There are people coming from outside who are promoted disregarding there officials that are within the structure, that is one of the concerns that our members are raising. There’s lack of skills development in this hospital that is one of the issues that our members are fighting for. One other issues is the shortage of staff,” says Mnqibisa.

Patients are left unattended while workers are on strike. “I have been here since 6 a.m until now 12h30 I have not been helped,” says one patient.

Despite admitting to some challenges, hospital management has denied nepotism allegations.

Thusanong Hospital CEO Dr Lucky Madikane says, “In the last three years, we promoted one individual who applied. It is indeed. We were running short of food because the department has no contract…”

The hospital management is pinning its hope on a speedy resolution that will see workers go back to work.