Case opened against striking staff members at Sterkfontein Hospital


The Gauteng health department expressed their dismay at the actions of a group of staff members at Sterkfontein Psycharirtic Hospital who briefly disrupted services on Tuesday.

In the statement, the department said the strike was illegal and ignored the current lockdown regulations, prohibiting public gatherings.

"The service disruption affected various areas of the facility, including the usual multi-disciplinary teams' morning visits to patients, which could not be undertaken as employees were locked outside the facility."

The department said patients were unable to take medication or bath time and the delivery of breakfast was delayed.

"The strike was illegal because there was no official notice to hospital management to embark on industrial action as per law," the department said.

It said the union did not raise any of their concerns to management prior to the strike. Some hospital staff members were unable to gain access as the police were called to the scene.

Concerns raised by some staff members were lack of social distancing and allegedly hospital management has kept information about infections from them.

The department confirmed that one staff member has tested positive for Covid-19 at the hospital: "All 27 close contacts including staff and eight patients were tested and the results came back negative with the results of three people still pending.

"The process of testing the entire staff in the facility commenced almost two weeks ago.

"The hospital management has since opened a case against those involved for locking the gate and denying staff to serve patients and for damage to property after a doctor's car was damaged."

Gauteng health has called for its employees to raise their issues through their multi-lateral platforms instead of going on strike, putting patients' lives at risks.

The department confirmed that Sterkfontein Hospital does have adequate personal protective equipment (PPE).

(Compiled by Sandisiwe Mbhele)

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