On a visit to Charlotte Maxeke Hospital in Johannesburg this morning, Health Minister Joe Phaahla said four people have died as a result of the ongoing protests by members of the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu).
The Department is considering legal action, as Phaahla said the deaths are “attributed directly to the strike”.
Healthcare services nationwide are returning to normal, due to court interdicts taken out by various provinces. In a media statement issued today, the Department said ‘the situation has improved in many of the facilities as the police have heeded the court order and have come to ensure the safety of everyone, especially the non-striking workers to attend to their work responsibilities.
Yesterday, some hospitals in Gauteng -Kopanong, Sebokeng, Thelle Mogoerane and Bheki Mlangeni- experienced a total shut down with patients were left unattended as striking workers went inside wards ordering staff out of the facilities. Two academic hospitals, Charlotte Maxeke and Chris Hani Baragwanath were also negatively impacted.
“We can report that all wards and clinics at Charlotte Maxeke are operational today at above 90 percent functionality”, the statement read.
At Bara the situation is stable inside, despite the protest intensifying outside with access to the main entrance blocked.
Eastern Cape – The situation has normalised in some of the affected health facilities following the discussions between the union leaders and health authorities.
KwaZulu-Natal – The Department has intensified security by securing the services of more security companies to complement the current workforce and police.
Free State- the situation has been calmer in most of the major facilities since the morning, although there are reports that striking members are moving to other facilities. Some facilities have moved ICU patients to private health facilities.
Northern Cape – the attention has shifted to areas such as Barkly West targeting clinics, otherwise the most part of the province are calmer as of this morning. Police are closely monitoring the situation.