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Pathologists meet with MEC

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The Forensic Pathology Service in the Province agreed to continue to work extra hours after the MEC of Health, Maruping Lekwene called an urgent meeting on Tuesday.

Picture: Boipelo Mere

The Forensic Pathology Service in the Province agreed to continue to work extra hours after the MEC of Health, Maruping Lekwene called an urgent meeting on Tuesday.

The meeting was attended by the MEC, Hospersa, acting HOD Riaan Strydom, Head of Ministry Lorato Moleleki and senior management in the department.

It is believed that the threat by pathologists to stop working after hours triggered Tuesday’s meeting where they were finally given a hearing by the MEC of Health.

The pathologists marched to the MEC’s offices on Monday where they planned to hand their memorandum of grievances to the MEC.

This was their second attempt to get the attention of the MEC after they were turned back on 14 June.

On Monday they were reportedly told that the MEC was too busy to meet them.

They refused to hand the memorandum to Moleleki who was delegated to act on behalf of the MEC.

According to the pathologists, their grievances around poor working conditions dates back to 2012.

They said they were sick and tired of being a laughing stock in the public’s eye by showing up to collect bodies without uniforms and keeping their work vehicles together with wires and ropes.

They also complained of unpaid allowances, and lack of office equipment.

Satisfied by the effort of the MEC to intervene and give their unit the necessary attention, the pathologists agreed to give the department the required time to intervene, provided there is progress.

“We are willing to work with the department in resolving our issues because we could see that the MEC was indeed disappointed in our working conditions.

“The MEC did not give a time frame but he indicated to us that some of the issues will take time to be fully implemented due to procedures that need to be followed.

“The MEC was further disappointed that we do not even have the required uniform, which was putting the pride of the department at stake,” said one of the pathologists.

Spokesperson for the Department of Health Lebogang Majaha confirmed that the first engagement with the MEC and the pathologist took place on Tuesday where a platform was created for the workers to raise their issues.

“More meetings will follow for all the issues to be addressed,” said Majaha.