Possible strike action looms at Charlotte Maxeke hospital

The hospital may be shut down as healthcare workers protest the lack of compensation for working extra hours. (Gallo)

The hospital may be shut down as healthcare workers protest the lack of compensation for working extra hours. (Gallo)

Patients at Charlotte Maxeke hospital in Johannesburg may be at risk as healthcare workers are threatening to down tools on Wednesday, said the Democratic Alliance in a statement on Tuesday.

The proposed shutdown is in protest for not being properly compensated for working extra hours, said the DA’s Jack Bloom.

Nehawu, the department of health and the Charlotte Maxeke hospital could not immediately be reached for comment.

Bloom said he is “extremely concerned” saying the threats are “causing anxiety” among employees and patients in the hospital.

The protest will include workers from last week’s protest action at the hospital including nurses, general employees, porters and other members of the National Education and Health And Workers’ Union. Last week, the group “trashed” the hospital after not receiving overtime payments and bonuses, Bloom said.

He said he believed the national department of health needed to take more stringent action to prevent the strike from occurring as it will put the lives of patients at risk.

“Every effort should be made to maintain health services and resolve worker grievances peacefully and speedily … Further disruption of this major hospital will have a horrendous effect on the welfare of patients.”

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Arielle Schwartz

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