Some patients were sent away at Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital on Wednesday. This as the nationwide strike by Nehawu affiliated workers enters its third day. The industrial action has affected health services at various public facilities.
Patients were bearing the brunt at Charlotte Maxeke Academic hospital. This as a number of patients at the hospital was discharged as the strike action gains momentum.
One patient who was due to undergo a knee operation was among those sent home. Reason being that doctors and nurses are not available due to the nationwide strike action.
“We came early but most of our staff is locked outside. There’s a protest, nurses can’t come in, doctors can’t come in, theatre staff can’t come in. So your surgeries will have to just be on hold than we going to have to take you guys home, “home now”, they were like jah now you have to go home because even if we keep you here there won’t be a nurse to take care of you here, like the food, what are you going to eat, the kitchen staff is not here,” says a patient who chose to remain anonymous.
At the same time, Nehawu disputed these allegations maintaining that their protests are peaceful. The unions say no one was prevented from entering or leaving the hospital.
“We have not blocked any entrances to the hospitals, members of Nehawu joined by many other workers because as we continued with the day, we are starting to see other unions even leaders of other unions joining us now. They decided when they arrived in the morning, that they are not going to go inside,” says Vhonani Masindi, Acting Regional Secretary of Nehawu.
On the other hand, worker’s say with the high cost of living, they can no longer survive on their current salaries. They demand that government hears their cry and revise its offer. Some of their demands include a 10 % salary increase, R2500 housing allowance and improved medical aid benefits.
“We want 10% because everything is too high, the cost of living is too high and we have bonds we can’t avoid by this 3%,” a worker says.
Workers say they will not accept government’s offer less than what they demand They say the stay away will continue until government meets their demands.
Workers at Charlotte Maxeke Hospital vow to continue with strike indefinitely: