Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital strike ends

Health workers called for the department of health to remove Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital CEO from his post on Monday, August 23 2018.
Health workers called for the department of health to remove Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital CEO from his post on Monday, August 23 2018.
Image: Zoë Mahopo

The Gauteng Health Department on Tuesday said a strike by general workers at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto was over.

The end of the strike came after some of the workers' demands were met.

"The hospital acting CEO Dr Sifiso Maseko is still on special leave and the department is going to appoint someone who will hold the fort‚" said department spokesman Lesemang Matuka.

"No other staff members will be moved until the investigation is completed. An independent team of investigators will be roped in to investigate all allegations made‚ the unions agreed to assist the process by handing over the evidence they have including possible sworn affidavits to HoD. Diversions were lifted yesterday and the services are rendered as normal‚" he said.

Six labour unions had on Monday downed tools and embarked on a strike against what they said was "rife corruption which has crippled healthcare service at the hospital." The striking workers had protested outside the hospital.

"The action came after numerous tea breaks and lunch-hour pickets at the hospital by workers who have had to render compromised service at the facility to patients as a result of a captured procurement system‚ including a memorandum of demands which was submitted to the hospital's Acting CEO on 1 August but has not yet been responded to‚" said a spokesperson for the staff Yandisa Zungula.

Among their list of demands was that Maseko step down‚ corrupt officials be removed and vacant posts be filled.

Workers had accused Maseko of irregular appointments and practising a "cash for jobs" system. They had also accused him of intimidating senior managers and taking decisions without proper consultation. Staff shortages and outstanding payments were also on their list of complaints.

Giving an example of this‚ Zungula said: "The facility's labour ward staff is made up of 12 midwives in total which works out to be three midwives per shift in a unit with statistics of +/- 2000 deliveries per month. This equals to unforgivable abuse of staff. Patients delivering without supervision is inevitable. And‚ unfortunately‚ patients die!"

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