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Nehawu wants court to compel govt to provide protective gear for health workers

3 April 2020 1:16 PM
Tags:
Nehawu
Health Department
Healthcare workers
masks
gloves
PPE
protective gear
Dr Yogan Pillay

The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) is taking urgent legal action against the Health Ministry.

The union wants the courts to compel the department to protect its members who are at risk of contracting the Covid-19 virus.

Nehawu general secretary Zola Saphetha says many healthcare workers are risking their lives while government fails to implement a comprehensive plan to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) and sanitisers.

The public sector union represents nurses, doctors, pharmacists, community health workers, cleaners, ambulance workers and laboratory staff, among others.

Saphetha says Nehawu will serve the department with legal papers on Friday afternoon.

He says the union has been forced to take the legal route after attempts to meet with Health Ministry were unsuccessful.

There's general anxiety and fear in all hospitals... Our members are subjected to conditions where they have to risk their lives.

Zola Saphetha, General Secretary - Nehawu

Our members must speak to their managers to give them protective clothing.

Zola Saphetha, General Secretary - Nehawu

We want the court to compel the minister to talk to us and resolve these issues.. also we are praying for a [court] order that outcomes must be enforced and implemented.

Zola Saphetha, General Secretary - Nehawu

Meanwhile, the health department's Deputy Director-General Dr Yogan Pillay says officials are doing everything they can to fast-track the procurement of PPEs.

RELATED: SA businesses called to donate protective gear to healthcare sector

He says there is a global shortage of protective gear such as masks and gloves as the world grapples with the Covid-19 pandemic.

There is a global shortage of PPE, every country is having this pandemic... Government and the department is doing everything it can to get the required commodities.

Dr Yogan Pillay, Deputy Director-General - National Department of Health

We are all concerned about protecting the health and welfare of health workers, without them, we can't provide health services.

Dr Yogan Pillay, Deputy Director-General - National Department of Health

Listen to the discussion on The Midday Report:


3 April 2020 1:16 PM
Tags:
Nehawu
Health Department
Healthcare workers
masks
gloves
PPE
protective gear
Dr Yogan Pillay

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