NEHAWU Mpumalanga Is Concerned About The Safety Of Workers And Patients At Carolina Hospital
Tuesday June 20, 2023
The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union [NEHAWU] in Mpumalanga Province is perturbed by attack of employees and patients by Gangsters at the Carolina Hospital Casualty.
On the 17th June, patients, workers and the security personnel were terrorised by a group of armed men who stormed the Hospital premises, robbed them of their accessories and other personal belongings, vandalised medical equipment and other equipment in Carolina Hospital Casualty. Healthcare professionals that were on duty were directed by these thugs to attend to patients related to them (the thugs) which is uncalled for.
The union will not accept a situation wherein its members are attacked while in their place of duty while employers have a responsibility to protect all employees and those who are recipients of such services. It is more worrisome that this is not an isolated incident, such an unfortunate incident has happened in other healthcare institutions throughout the province. In some instances, the lives of employees were lost. Furthermore this incident happened immediately after the Carolina SAPS members had left the hospital while they were accompanying one of the patient who was attacked in the community.
The Provincial Government should be reminded that health is an apex of the National Agenda on service delivery and the safety of employees and patients is one of the key priorities on the National Core Standards, and as such the safety of employees, and patients must be prioritised at all material times.
The union in the province has been constant since 2016 in calling for the strengthening of the safety measures in all public healthcare institutions and this led to a benchmarking process which was embarked upon with the Gauteng province. We are very much disappointed that the recommendations of the Task Team were not implemented to the latter, but instead there were institutions which were regarded as the hot spots. As NEHAWU, we are clear that all the public healthcare facilities in the province must be regarded as hot spots and security measures must be put in place to ensure that all employees in these hospitals are working in a safe environment.
In mitigating on the safety challenges and the incidence which took place in Carolina Hospital, we demand the following:
• The security measures as identified be implemented without any failure.
• Regular visit of the SAPS in the Carolina Hospital and other Healthcare facilities in the province.
• Psycho-social therapy to the employees and parents who got exposed to this traumatic incident.
• Filling of all EXCO and other entry level positions in Carolina Hospital and other Healthcare institutions in the province.
• Monthly meetings with the SAPS and Hospital /District Management to discuss about the safety of employees and patients in healthcare institutions
As NEHAWU, we have been in the forefront in calling for the insourcing of security services in the province as part of strengthening internal capacity and have full control on the security matters. The Premier, Ms Refilwe Mtsweni-Tsipane reassured the union in 2018 that security services were to be insourced when the contracts of security service providers lapsed in 2022, and it came as shock that again the Provincial Government opted to continue with the outsourcing of security services by appointing their cronies as opposed to the insourcing of this services.
Health is a societal issue, and we call upon all stakeholders including communities to take part in fighting gangsterism and crime in the society. The response of the South African Police Services and their visibility in public healthcare institutions should be strengthened. All the security service providers who are seized with the responsibility to oversee the safety within healthcare facilities should have their own backup systems which will help in controlling the situation during emergencies. Our communities should work with the police in fighting crime and protecting employees in order to work in a safe and conducive environment as they continue to render quality healthcare services to the masses of our people.
In responding to the challenges confronting our members and the community in healthcare institutions, the union in the province is intensifying its Close Ranks and Defend our Base by rolling out the Public Service Delivery Campaign throughout all four regions demanding amongst other things the following:
• Safety of employees in all workplaces
• Insourcing of services such as the security, Pharmaceutical depot and etc.
• Filling of all vacant funded posts in all Departments and CEO’s of Provincial parastatals.
• Funding model for Mpumalanga Regional Training Trust (MRTT).
• Safe working environment and improved working conditions.
• Disposal of state houses
• Decentralization Internal Bursaries to Departments
Lastly, we demand that the Provincial Government attend to the issue of the safety of employees and patients in all healthcare facilities, failing which will leave the union with no choice but to direct its members to withdraw their labour especially those who are exposed to safety risks until their safety is guaranteed.
Issued by NEHAWU Mpumalanga Secretariat
For more information please contact Welcome Mnisi (Provincial Secretary) at 082 455 2897 or email email@example.com or
Gift Maseko (Provincial Deputy Secretary) at 063 685 3461 or email firstname.lastname@example.org