The National Health, Education and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) in the province plans to approach the health ombudsman to report the deteriorating state of health services in the province and the Department of Health’s alleged failure to pay health professionals performance bonuses to the tune of R164 million in the previous financial year.
Members of the provincial executive of Nehawu were picketing outside the department’s headquarters yesterday (Wednesday) alleging that patients in various hospitals, especially Pietersburg Provincial Hospital are served rotten food and that the already poor state of health services across the province continues to deteriorate.
Union members blocked the two entrances to the department’s premises thereby denying officials entry. A single Police vehicle was patrolling the area at the time.
Nehawu Provincial Secretary Jacob Adams said they have been engaging with MEC Phophi Ramathuba on health issues but nothing is being done. He stated that the union met with Minister Aaron Motsoaledi two weeks ago and, according to Adams, Motsoaledi agreed that the state of health facilities in Limpopo was shocking.
“Health professionals deserve performance bonuses but the department says they only have R90 million which doesn’t even get close to the total amount owed. We are going to put pressure on Ramathuba until she acts. We can’t sit back and watch our people eating rotten food in hospitals. We are planning to approach the health ombudsman to report these issues,” Adams stressed.
He further informed that laundry machines were not operational in most health facilities across the province and this puts both employees and patients at high health risk. Polokwane Observer was awaiting comment from the Department of Health at the time of going to print.
Story & photos: ENDY SENYATSI