30 June 2016

The Health & Other Service Personnel Trade Union of South Africa (Hospersa) yesterday met with private hospital group Netcare over its controversial deal with Clicks.  The Union reports that the deal was reported to be pending until due review by the Competition Commission.

During a meeting held at Netcare’s head office yesterday, Netcare gave background regarding its decision to sell off its pharmacy retail stores to Clicks.  Hospersa was able to confirm that this would affect 51 hospital retail front shop operations and 37 Medicross medical and dental centres employing 178 staff members.  The deal was currently being reviewed by the Competition Commission and Netcare set a preliminary agreement date at 1 October 2016. 

“Hospersa has confirmed that this is indeed a transfer in terms of section 197 of the Labour Relations Act,” said Hospersa General Secretary Noel Desfontaines.  “The Act prescribes that our members will be transferred with the same conditions of service … or even better conditions,” he added.

Earlier this month Hospersa criticised Netcare for its approach around this deal.  The Union bemoaned the fact that the deal was communicated by means of a newsletter and claimed that there had not been meaningful engagement with employees or their unions on such a significant move. 

At yesterday’s meeting it was confirmed that, in terms of the current health legislation into the licensing of hospitals the current institutional or “back-shop” pharmacies will remain intact to meet the requirement of hospitals having the capacity to dispense medicines on site.

“Hospersa will monitor the situation and await the outcome of the Competition Commission’s process.  We will meet with Netcare when necessary, and ensure that there are no job losses or erosion of our members’ service conditions and benefits,” concluded Desfontaines.

This comes after earlier statements by Hospersa regarding the parallel process of restructuring of the Credit Control department at Netcare.  In an earlier statement on the restructuring matter, Hospersa reported that it was able to halt the process and participate in the so-called “Deep Dive” impact assessment process at the five affected hospitals in the Gauteng province.  This process is still under way.



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For more information please contact Hospersa General Secretary Noel Desfontaines on 083-321-4427.