Services at hospital mortuaries not affected amid funeral industry strike

As the funeral industry national shutdown hits its third day on Wednesday, the Gauteng Department of Health has assured residents that services at hospital mortuaries have not been affected.

Acting Health MEC Jacob Mamabolo said measures were in place to assist communities with the collection and storage of corpses during the strike.

The strike started on Monday and is expected to end on Wednesday.

News24 previously reported that funeral undertakers' grievances include that government designates a dedicated department which all funeral directors could report to.

"The department's Forensic Pathology Services (FPS) team have been directed to work together with the Gauteng Emergency Medical Services (EMS) team to assist with the collection of bodies of people who demise at home.

"We are satisfied with how Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital is handling the management of bodies during this period," Mamabolo said.

Also read: Health Dept warns that funeral strike could lead to public health risk

The department said the EMS team was currently the central coordination point, working with other stakeholders for the collection of bodies.

It had also sought the help of South African National Defence Force (SANDF) personnel to assist at health facilities for the duration and post the strike action to ensure that bodies were processed quickly and handed over to families for burials.

Residents have been encouraged to contact EMS when they need a body collected from their homes.

"Gauteng EMS can be contacted on 112 from your cell phone or 10177 from a landline.

"The department is appealing to communities to bear with us during this period, as we do our best to respond to the situation."

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