The Department of Health has noted with concern the violent and disruptive actions by some members of trade union NEHAWU at some health facilities around the country which affect access to some facilities, mainly major hospitals.
The department respects the right to strike by members of the trade unions as enshrined in the Constitution of the country. However such right should not violate the constitutional rights of others to life and access to healthcare.
Any form of violence and intimidation directed at health workers, patients and infrastructure is condemned in the strongest terms.
The department is working closely with the provincial health authorities and law enforcement agencies to monitor the situation to ensure rapid response and necessary urgent interventions to minimise the impact of the strike on the provision of essential health services.
The participation of employees rendering essential services or maintenance services in the strike during working hours will constitute misconduct, and the principle of “No-Work No Pay” will also be strictly and timeously applied without fear or favour.
Some of the affected health facilities include amongst other: Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, Leratong Hospital, Tembisa Hospital all in Gauteng; Pelonomi and Manapo Hospitals in the Free State, Khayelitsha Hospital in the Western Cape, Tshepong and Moses Kotane Hospitals in the North West, Kimberly and Upington Hospitals in the Northern Cape.