The Democratic Alliance (DA) condemns the deplorable abuse of patients at the Yusuf Dadoo Hospital in Krugersdorp where union workers have been on strike since last Friday.
Surgery was halted yesterday, and patients are not receiving medicine or are turned away, causing much suffering for people in the area who cannot afford private health care.
In one case I have tried to assist a family to get the body of a relative from the hospital mortuary.
The striking workers are from Nehawu, Hospersa and Denosa, and their demands include better working conditions, the reopening of a canteen, and for management to step down.
While I understand the grievances at this long-troubled hospital, strike action is not acceptable at a medical facility.
The Gauteng Health Department should get a court interdict against this illegal strike and ensure that full hospital services are restored as soon as possible.
The department has been inexcusably slow in negotiating an Essential Services Agreement with unions, which should have been a priority after the strike violence at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital last year.
Genuine worker grievances should be settled speedily without disruption that negatively affects patients.