Strike Action Blamed for Hospital Deaths in South Africa

Strike Action Blamed for Hospital Deaths in South Africa (News Central TV)

Health workers’ continuing national strike, according to South African Health Minister Joe Phaahla, is has led to at least four patient deaths. He has cautioned that as his team continues to review clinical reports and tour impacted health centers, this number could rise.

Some hospitals were shut down last week as a result of National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (NEHAWU) strike action, with workers being forcibly barred from entering and patients in need of treatment being turned away.

Strike Action Blamed for Hospital Deaths in South Africa (News Central TV)

In order to stop employee intimidation and guarantee that hospitals can continue operating, the army has been stationed at strategic hospital entrance points.

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However, NEHAWU has denied assertions that their strike action is to account for patient deaths. According to local TV station eNCA, as reported by the BBC, the general secretary of the union, Zola Sephetha said, “”has never killed anyone, and the government is accountable for whatever happens at the hospitals”.

As their strike begins its second week, public sector employees, including those in the medical field, have vowed to make more demands. They refused the government’s offer of a 4.7% pay increase and demanded 10% instead.

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