Zweli Mkhize, Health Minister has responded to Nehawu’s plans to withdraw its labour from all sectors by September, during the projected peak of the pandemic
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has responded to the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) threats to stage protests over non-compliance of COVID-19 safety regulations, saying that he would “immediately intervene” at ill-equipped facilities.
The public sector union has outlined its plans to withdraw its labour from all sectors by September, during the projected peak of the pandemic.
The public sector has said that it had visited health facilities and had found employees being forced to work despite having contracted COVID-19.
Nehawu also claimed that many health facilities did not have personal protective equipment.
Tshepo Mokheranyane, the union’s Gauteng secretary said that they’ve demanded that health workers receive better treatment by ensuring risk assessments are done to control the infection rate in hospitals and clinics.
Nehawu further said that some employers refused to believe health workers when they said that they had been exposed to a colleague who contracted the virus.
Mokheranyane said they had welcomed Health Minister’s response to their demands, but he said that actions spoke louder than words.
“We are going to hear what they say, work with them – for as long as they meet our demands. If they don’t meet our demands, our national programme of action will unfold.”
He mentioned that if the government won’t help health workers protect themselves during this pandemic, they will use their collective might to get results.