DA calls for Sambatha to intervene

MAHIKENG NMAIL-MAHIKENG: The Democratic Alliance has requested the MEC for the Department of Health, MEC Madoda Sambatha to intervene in the chaos at the Potchefstroom and Witrand Hospitals after a group of protesters breached the hospital building throwing trash and medical waste in the passages raising red flags about the inefficiency of the security at the hospital.

The DA said the inability of the Department of Health to ensure that patients were kept safe must be explained by the MEC as well as his contingency plans to prevent similar situations in future.
“Healthcare providers are regarded as essential workers and, as such, are expected to hold themselves to a higher standard than simply trashing a hospital.  Section 64 of the Labour Relations Act reiterates that every worker has the right to strike”. 
“Section 65 qualifies the general right to strike in that individuals who provide essential services may not participate in strike action.  Therefore, public service healthcare workers may not enter protected strike action in the absence of a minimum service level agreement.  The MEC must confirm whether such an agreement was in place for this strike.  He must further make public the terms of the agreement.  Any Department official in breach of any agreement must face disciplinary action,” said the DA.
No agreement to strike can allow for the destruction of property, nor can it be permissible that striking workers be allowed to compromise the safety of patients by emptying medical waste, trash and other waste in the passage. 
“The participants and organisers of this strike must be brought to book. While the Constitution protects the right to protest, it must be done in a responsible manner that does not infringe on the rights of others, more so on the basic human right to health care”, the opposition party reiterated.