Krugersdorp hospital's key units shut down as workers strike

Workers at Dr Yusuf Dadoo Hospital in Krugersdorp are protesting against difficult working conditions, including understaffing.
Workers at Dr Yusuf Dadoo Hospital in Krugersdorp are protesting against difficult working conditions, including understaffing.
Image: Thulani Mbele

Operations at a Gauteng hospital were completely halted yesterday after health workers downed tools demanding a canteen, among others.

Staff at the Dr Yusuf Dadoo Hospital in Krugersdorp, on the West Rand, yesterday shut down the emergency unit, pharmacy and outpatient department over grievances.

These included better working conditions, a call for management to step down, the
reopening of a canteen and resources.

Staff including nurses, doctors, cleaners and porters, said they wanted the provincial department of health to resolve issues at the hospital. Yesterday, protesters affiliated to Nehawu, Hospersa and Denosa gathered outside the hospital.

Sibusiso Dube said she had to bring her pregnant daughter food after patients were only served two slices of bread and a cup of tea for dinner.

"There is no food because of the strike. Last night there was only one nurse in charge inside the ward," Dube said.

A 56-year-old outpatient said there was no staff to assist him. "I'm disappointed. There is nothing happening in there." The man said he was suffering from ulcers and back pain.

Delisile Magubane, who is pregnant, said she was referred to the clinic because her due date had passed.

"There's no one at reception and I saw one nurse walking around. I have decided to go to Leratong Hospital."

A nurse, who asked not to be named, said they would not stop the protest until they get what they want.

Dr Yusuf Dadoo Hospital is deserted after majority of staff, include health workers, went on strike to demand better working conditions.
Dr Yusuf Dadoo Hospital is deserted after majority of staff, include health workers, went on strike to demand better working conditions.
Image: Thulani Mbele

"We want to see changes in this hospital," she said. The nurse said a shortage of staff was also a huge problem while the ward was always full.

About five staff members who work in the hospital kitchen complained that they had to use one pot to cook meals for the entire hospital.

One of them said they have to cook pap, vegetables and stew inside one pot.

"We are tired of working under pressure. We have complained that the other pots are damaged but nothing is done to replace them," she said.

Yesterday, the hospital's CEO Dr Patrick Sofohlo said the hospital was operating with 30% staff while the majority was on strike.

Sofohlo said the situation was under control compared to the previous day. He said the canteen closed two months ago because the service provider's contract ended and they were securing a new one.

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