| PIETERMARITZBURG

Clinic reopens after agreement between workers and health department

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Facility closed on Friday because of lack of PPE

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Photo of the clinic with people sitting and standing around

Health workers at Imbalenhle clinic downed tools on Friday saying they did not have sufficient personal protective equipment. Photo: Nompendulo Ngubane

Health workers at Imbalenhle clinic in Pietermaritzburg downed tools on Friday, saying they did not have sufficient personal protective equipment (PPE).

Patients were not allowed to enter the clinic on Friday. The gates were locked and workers sat outside.

After drafting a petition and submitting it to the district office of the Department of Health, secretary for the National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (NEHAWU) Harry Gwala Region, Mazwi Ngubane, said the district had reached an agreement to provide the workers with full PPE.

“Some don’t have the protective wear at all … The increasing number of workers who are testing positive for Covid-19 is also worrying. Thirteen of the staff members have tested positive. What we are seeing is the negligence of the management. Workers are expected to continue working after they have been tested while waiting for results. We are saying that is a huge risk and it exposes patients and other workers,” said Ngubane.

He said contacts were not tested. “That is putting their families in danger. As the union we are saying that must stop. The clinic must be disinfected … that is not happening,” said Ngubane.

Ngubane said the clinic is now operating after an agreement was reached between the department and the employees.

“We signed an agreement that [protective] screens will be installed by Wednesday including seeing the Occupational Healthy Safety Committee being introduced at the clinic,” said Ngubane.

The department did not comment.

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TOPICS:  Covid-19 Health Unions

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