The Health & Other Services Personnel Trade Union of South Africa (Hospersa) in the North West is disputing that its members at Christiana Hospital are on strike.
The union says members only refused to work overtime shifts because management has not paid overtime allowances for the past two years.
Hospersa’s labour relations organiser Mpho Mongane says, “Our members are not on strike. Our members presented a petition to management informing them that they are no longer going to work overtime as it has not been paid for the last two years.”
Several patients at the hospital had to be discharged, while others were transferred to the Bloemhof Community Health Centre, following a protest by nursing staff at the Christiana hospital.
Mongane blames management for the discharging of patients at the hospital.
“Management took a unilateral decision to release all the patients that were admitted at Christiana hospital and transfer others to Bloemhof CHC. So, it is the decision of management and we don’t know the reason for that.”
North West Health MEC Madoda Sambatha says the matter will be investigated.
He says, “I need investigations and action, anyone who is implicated must account for that. It can’t just be that at the eve of an international health disaster, you have workers who decide at that point that caring of patients is secondary to them.”
“I need someone to account as to what happened and who were involved for that.”
In the video below, Health workers at Mahikeng Provincial Hospital demand safe working environment:
Christiana Hospital is a district hospital which renders a 24 hour service and mostly serves Lekwa Teemane local municipality and other surrounding areas.
However since Friday, health services at the hospital have not been accessible to the public and this has negatively impacted patients.
The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) says their members had no other option, but to go on strike.
The union’s deputy regional chairperson in the region Tebogo Kwati says the action by its members was to attract the attention of the provincial health authorities.
Kwati says: “If it was not for this action, it would have been business as usual. Two or three managers of the district would have come here and play hide and seek to our members, but we did not want members from the district we wanted the MEC.”
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