Workers should not be used as scapegoats for the department’s failure to provide quality healthcare services.

30 May 2023

The Congress of South African Trade Unions(COSATU) in the North West has learned with disappointment that the Provincial MEC of Health wants to use workers as sacrificial lambs for the department’s failure to provide quality healthcare services.

This follows the incident where nurses and staff at the Mafikeng Provincial Hospital were forced to improvise to save the lives of new-born babies due to the insufficient quantity of cribs and incubators.

Instead of targeting workers for applying surviving mechanisms in unfavourable conditions that should not be permissible to begin with, the MEC and the department should be utilising this incident to restore confidence and deal with the shortage of medical equipment at local health facilities in the province. As per their mandate, they should focus on a plan to source more medical equipment.

COSATU appreciates the workers’ spirit of dedication. Even under these conditions, they did not fold their arms. They stood by their professional oath to always save lives, using what was at their disposal.

We urge the MEC to conduct an audit on the state of the health facilities in the province. The audit should be facilitated with the same speed with which the investigation against the workers was conducted. We expect the report to be released by next week. This is crucial towards the improvement of the quality of health services in the province.

Issued by COSATU North West

For more information please contact Kopano Konopi(Provincial Secretary)

082  339 5836