Harry Bains, Minister of Labor –“All workers deserve stable employment that treats them with dignity…
The Eastern Cape Health Service continues to face shortages of staff and medical supplies. Labor unions have urged the department to step in and fill vacancies.
Dozens of heavily pregnant women at Motherwell Health Center in the Eastern Cape have been left in limbo as they continue to struggle to get medical care for their unborn babies since the labor ward was shut down.
Healthcare workers say demand is overwhelming due to a lack of staff at the facility, and unions say the facility’s delivery room is on the verge of collapse.
Unions have criticized the health department for this crisis and are demanding urgent action on the matter.
The South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) Nomonde Fanele says: “Today we are saying that we will not write any more letters to the department so we will stay here until the national health department can intervene. This has been going on since 2018…”
The Democratic Nursing Organization of South Africa (Denosa) Vuyo Nodlawu says: “What we have requested is that they provide us with full staff so that we can be able to provide services to our population. Our people complain day after day about the poor services they receive in the clinics. And the people pushing are the people who work in these clinics so there’s no way we can continue to hire them at all levels but nothing is being done so we want the department to tell us when they’re going to fill these vacancies.
The health department says the process for filling vacancies is on the cards.
Provincial Department of Health spokesperson Sizwe Kuphelo said, “We are therefore doing everything in our power to ensure that these positions will be vacant and we call on our stakeholders to trust us during this period so that we try to solve the problem. because our biggest problem here is a budget constraint.
The provincial government has allocated over R80 billion to the health department for the medium term expenditure framework for the financial year 2022/23. –Reporting by Lwando Nomoyi