KZN Health MEC urges striking health workers to desist from blocking access to healthcare

08 March 2023

"Allow healthcare workers to get work so they can save lives; and do not stop patients from coming into our health facilities because if you continue to do so, you will have blood on your hands."

This is the stern message from KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC, in the wake of day 3 of the increasingly crippling illegal strike that has disrupted the functioning of a number of hospitals, community health centres and clinics in the Province.

Speaking about the impact of the strike, in Durban earlier today, MEC Simelane said the workers' demands fell outside of the jurisdiction of the Provincial government.

"It becomes very difficult to negotiate in our different corners on matters that are on a national level, and at the level of the bargaining chamber."

"We expected that the leadership of the unions would understand that the majority of healthcare workers are classified under essential services, and therefore, they cannot not be at work. But it becomes even worse when you have health workers who are stopping patients from accessing healthcare services."

"These are people who swore under oath not to hinder people's access to healthcare, which is an inalienable human right. We therefore call upon leaders of organized labour to desist from these actions."

MEC Simelane thanked staff who have worked extraordinarily long shifts during the strike, including those who could not go home due to blockages.

She said the Department was closely monitoring the situation and would continue to implement contingency measures to mitigate the impact of the strike, including the continued provision of healthcare and catering services.

ENDS Issued by the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health

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This page last edited on 11 July, 2023

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