On Monday, employees at ThabaMoopo psychiatric hospital in Lebowakgomo embarked on strike, demanding provincial health MEC Phophi Ramathuba to come and address their demands.
The workers’ demands comprise the BP machine, toiletries for patients and expulsion of their security manager.
It is alleged that the workers refused to be addressed by a team of officials sent from the district office and instead demanded the health MEC.
Saul Maepa, the National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union secretary at ThabaMoopo, said we cannot be addressed by the same people who failed to address their grievances.
Maepa said workers tried to follow procedure in efforts to engage with the department but they have not been successful since the beginning of a month.
“Although the protest is negatively affecting the patients, this is an only way the department can take them serious,” he said.
A concerned family member said patients have not eaten or taken medication since morning. She said it is unfair that their family member’s health is neglected due to the department’s failure to meet workers’ demands.
She said workers strike is compromising patients’ rights to healthcare.
Provincial spokesperson for health department, Neil Shikwambana said an interim team of primary healthcare workers has been dispatched to the hospital to ensure that patients receive medical attention.
The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) in the province said on Tuesday a team of officials were sent to assess the situation at the hospital and found that everything was back to normal.
The provincial commission manager, Victor Mavhidula said those who want to lodge formal complaints alleging unfair treatment can submit their complaints for further investigations.