MPs call on North West strikers to halt hospital blockades

Image: 123RF/Lucian Coman

The blockading of two hospitals in the North West by protesters was decried by parliament's Select Committee on Social Services on Wednesday‚ with chairperson Cathy Dlamini saying patient care had to take top priority.

Doctors are being prevented from entering the Tshepong and Klerksdorp hospitals‚ SowetanLIVE reported on Wednesday morning.

Dlamini said ambulances were also being prevented from entering the hospital grounds at Tshepong.

"The provision of life-saving services to patients should always take priority above any discontent."

Staff are protesting against a shortage of healthcare workers and alleged corruption in the department. Community workers and counsellors have also joined them in protest against low remuneration.

“While we are all concerned about these serious allegations‚ robbing patients of life-saving care can never be justified. We encourage constructive engagement on platforms put in place to deal with the matter‚” said Dlamini.

The committee called for intervention from the departments of health at national and province level‚ as well as the South African Police Service.

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