The SA Medical Association (SAMA) says new guidelines will be published regarding the procurement of PPEs to enable government to trace the quality of PPEs delivered to public facilities.

This as workers affiliated to the National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (NEHAWU) are set to continue with lunchtime pickets this week over a shortage of PPEs for staff and a wage dispute.

SAMA Chairperson Dr Angelique Coetzee has disputed the unions’ claims of a PPE shortage, and says the only concern is the quality of PPEs, a matter which is already being attended to by the Health Minister.

“There should not be a shortage, what is of concern and the Minister is aware of this, there are guidelines that are going to come out on this. What is of concern is that we cannot trace the PPEs, you know there’s no markings to tell which company it’s coming from or what batch this is coming from. So never in the past was that necessary, you know corona showed us that this is a necessity going forward, there will be regulations coming out so that one can trace the poor quality of PPEs.”

Coetzee, however, says the pickets have so far not disrupted operations at facilities.

“This leads to a huge concern about what happens to them when they go back into the healthcare facilities. The same clothes and if they wear a mask do they get a new mask when they go back? Corona is still out there so that can lead to a huge health risk amongst personnel and then giving that to the patients inside, especially those patients in COVID wards.”