Home News NC Health dept gets interdict against protesting care workers

NC Health dept gets interdict against protesting care workers

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This follows after community healthcare workers threatened to close down all state health facilities in the Northern Cape after they did not receive their social grants this month.

Salipswu members outside the Northern Cape High Court after the Department of Health obtained an interdict against protesting community healthcare workers. The union has denied that they were involved in any strike action. Picture. Supplied

THE NORTHERN Cape Department of Health has interdicted and restrained community healthcare workers (CHWs) from entering any hospital, community health centre or clinic in the Province other than to perform their duties.

This follows after CHWs threatened to close down all state health facilities in the Province after they did not receive their social grants – including child, foster care and child disability grants – this month.

Protests took place at Galeshewe Day Hospital and the doors to the Ma Doyle Clinic were closed last week.

Frustrated CHWs later threatened to shut down all state health facilities, including hospitals.

The urgent interim interdict was obtained against the National Union of Public Service and Allied Workers (Nupsaw), the South African Liberated Public Sector Workers Union (Salipswu) and community healthcare workers in the Northern Cape employed by the Department of Health.

According to the court order, CHWs will only be able to enter state health facilities to perform their duties or to access medical care.

They have been prohibited from interfering with the provision of public healthcare services, the administration or daily operations of healthcare facilities, preventing anyone from accessing health care or any employee or healthcare worker from rendering services, as well as inciting any violence.

Salipswu provincial organiser Thapelo Thole stated that they would oppose the application when the matter returned to court next week.

“Our members were not part of any illegal strike action. We also instructed our members and sent them WhatsApp messages warning them not to take part in an unprotected strike or to close any clinic. We believe that everyone should have a right to access healthcare services. No person may be refused emergency treatment,” said Thole.

Community health care workers outside Galeshewe Day Hospital last week. Picture Soraya Crowie
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