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19 April 2018


Hospersa has increased its calls for national intervention at the North West (NW) Department of Health (DoH) by writing to President Cyril Ramaphosa seeking his intervention.  In the letter, the Union has highlighted the ailing state of public health in the NW province which is characterised by corruption and maladministration involving senior officials and disrupted delivery of health care service due to a reported go-slow by health workers.  The Union is concerned that there has been little interevention from the National DoH and now look to the President for urgent assistance.

The NW DoH has been the subject of a number of irregular contracts awarded by senior officials whereby the NW Premier, the Finance Member of the Executive Council (MEC) and the Health Head of Department (HOD) are implicated on a string of dodgy dealings.  The province is also hit by disruptions in service delivery where it is reported that many public health facilities have had to shut their doors due to industrial action by public service unions over poor working conditions.  Hospersa has written to the President to step in and address the pending issues that are affecting service delivery to the many communities that depend on the service.

“We are concerned that the National DoH is not treating the issues in the NW DoH with urgency,” said Hospersa General Secretary Noel Desfontaines.  “We have previously written to the Minister of Health on a number of times whereby our concerns continue to fall on deaf ears.  Our last correspondence to his office, dated 9 March 2018, has also not received a response while the situation deteriorates,” added Desfontaines.

It is reported that the NW DoH is on its knees due to health workers embarking on industrial action in a form of a go-slow in various health facilities in the province.  Amongst the list of demands, health workers are demanding a forensic investigation into the province’s DoH, the termination of all fraudulent contracts, the filing of vacant funded posts and the removal of the embattled NW Premier and the Health HOD.  These demands were handed to the Director General of the NW DoH during a march late last month.

“We are not surprised that health workers in the province are now resorting to such drastic measures to get government to address their demands.  During the reported industrial action, Hospersa appeals to its members to not engage in any form of vandalism and intimidation as well as in any deliberate closure of health facilities.  We will continue working within the confines of the law to ensure that members’ demands are addressed,” said Desfontaines.

“We now call on the President’s intervention to urgently resuscitate the province’s collapsed health care service.  The first point of departure would be to restore confidence in the public health workforce by addressing the deep levels of corruption and maladministration within the province’s DoH,” concluded Desfontaines.



 Total words (excluding heading):  478

 For interviews please contact Hospersa General Secretary Noel Desfontaines – 083-321-4427.

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