MAHIKENG, SOUTH AFRICA– South African Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi visited the Mahikeng Provincial Hospital here Monday to assessing the collapse of North West Province’s public health care sector as the National Health, Education and Allied Workers Union (NEHAWU) unit in the province said it will strike across all spheres of the public sector if no agreement is reached soon with the Department of Health soon.
Several clinics in the area have closed and most of the hospital’s nurses abandoned duty. Nehawu in the province members have downed tools over alleged corruption and unmet salary demands.
Military personnel were deployed on Saturday, resuscitating care at the hospital. Contingency plans are yet to be made, after reports that staff at other hospitals have followed suit.
We need to develop a plan, which we will discuss with the army, what we’ll do … because the army said their mandate was only the depot and Mahikeng hospital, said Motsoaledi.
The strike’s end seems far away as Nehawu said mediation had collapsed. If there’s no progress, Nehawu said, it will ask other public sector workers to strike.
Motsoaledi said some issues fell outside his scope such as recalling North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo. The manner in which our laws have been enacted the situation is that the way our laws have been constructed both MEC (Members of the provincial Executive Council) and me won’t have the powers to remove the HoD (head of department).
Meanwhile, premier Mahumapelo finally suspended provincial health department head Dr Thabo Lekalakala last week. He was allegedly involved in corruption.
Motsoaledi said the South African National Defence Force would send 17 more nurses and nine additional doctors to assist at Mahikeng hospital.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK