The DA notes reports that NEHAWU protesters have shut down Tshepong Hospital in Klerksdorp, North West.
While the DA supports workers’ right to down tools and protest for better working conditions, they cannot do so at the expense of patients’ lives.
Yesterday, the DA conducted an oversight inspection at the Tshepong Hospital and the hospital management confirmed that it does not have adequate security to maintain order and that freelance nurses would have to be employed once the strike commences.
Protestors have reportedly been burning tyres, refused to allow ambulances access and refused anyone from entering or leaving the hospital.
Staff at the hospital yesterday have warned the crisis in the North West health sector could possibly escalate into “a tragedy that will have a bigger aftermath than the deaths at the Esidimeni Health Care Centre”.
Such statements cannot be ignored as they give us an account of the dire situation on the ground.
The DA urges protesters at the hospital to adhere to the prescripts of the law and to respect patients’ right to access health care services.
Health Minister, Aaron Motsoaledi’s visit to the North West yesterday yielded no results and was clearly nothing more than a PR stunt.
The collapse of health services in the North West falls squarely at the feet of North West Premier, Supra Mahumapelo, and North West Health MEC, Dr Magome Masike. The ANC continues to protect ineffective leaders at the expense of the lives of the sick and vulnerable.