JOHANNESBURG, 31 May 2018 – The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) Gauteng is deeply concerned with the unfolding strike action at Charlotte Maxeke Hospital in Johannesburg today. This strike and the shutdown of services at the hospital is threatening the lives and well-being of patients admitted to and trying to access services at the hospital. While we are sympathetic to and support the call for proper remuneration and better working conditions, this cannot be at the risk of people’s lives who use the public healthcare system.
Today the hospital shut down meant many services were not being provided to patients. Hundreds of patients remain unattended to and in desperate need of health services. This is unacceptable. Further the strewing of rubbish and medical waste in the hospital’s main foyer is a major health hazard that could further worsen the health and safety of patients and visitors.
As an organisation that protects the right of public healthcare users, TAC Gauteng urgently calls on the Department of Health to intervene to ensure that no lives are lost during this strike. We further call on the Hospital management and CEO to urgently meet with the striking workers to come to reasonable solutions to see a swift end to the action.
We support the struggle of the healthcare workers as they express their genuine grievances pertaining to a lack of remuneration for overtime and non-payment of performance bonuses. However, we do not condone the disruption of essential services and this violation of patients’ rights to access healthcare. We call on the healthcare workers to ensure that the health and wellbeing of patients is protected during this strike action.
For more information and interviews please contact:
Tshidiso Mokhele | TAC Gauteng Provincial Secretary | 071 798-8240
Fikile Mtsweni | TAC Gauteng Provincial Chairperson | 076 529-7631