The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) is deeply alarmed by the number of healthcare workers who have tested positive for the deadly Covid-19 virus. This follows revelations that forty-eight (48) workers have tested positive at St Augustine Hospital.
This speaks to what the federation and its affiliated unions have been raising that that these brave and dedicated workers are being let-down by lackadaisical bureaucrats and an indifferent political leadership in both the public and private healthcare sectors. Their lies and excuses are proof that they are not serious about providing these workers with adequate Personal Protective Equipment.
Both private and public healthcare facilities are failing to comply with the Occupational Health and Safety standards. We are also worried by the quality of these PPE’s that are being provided by the health facilities to these employees.
The department of Health should stop downplaying this matter and work to resolve it. This is not a public relations problem but a life and death issue.
We are unrelenting in our demand for the department of health and private healthcare facilities to ensure that all workers in the health sector are provided with the necessary Personal Protective Equipment. By doing this they are not doing these workers a favour, but they are complying with the law, especially the Occupational Health and Safety Act; 1993 [as amended].
We also reiterate our call for these workers to be paid the necessary danger allowances and also be provided with full wellness and counselling services because many of them are mentally fatigued.
Issued by COSATU
Sizwe Pamla (Cosatu National Spokesperson)
Tel: 011 339 4911
Fax: 011 339 5080
Cell: 060 975 6794