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  |  COSATU Press Statements

COSATU NW condemns continuing deaths in health institutions

10 July 2012

The Congress of South African Trade Unions in the North West is worried by the continuing death in health institutions which is caused by shortage of staff and negligence of some of the staff members.

COSATU has learned that last week a woman arrived at the clinic in Ganyesa only to find that there was no professional nurse on duty and the poor women was in labour, ultimately delivering a child who died at the clinic. Unfortunately the mother died the following day.

This is not the first incident where a life has been lost in a health institution in the province, in particular the same area. In 2009 a women lost her twins in the same area and on another incident a child was found hanging in a shower in Moruleng. In the same year, in the clinic at Madibogo, a woman delivered her baby in the street just next to the clinic.

COSATU has since been told that the investigations are underway but up to date there is no report coming through.

In our view the department of health is also contributing to the challenges facing the poor workers who are working under pressure due to shortage of staff, in particular during the night both at the hospitals and clinics.

It is reported publicly in the media that action is taken against those who are implicated, but we want to argue that it is not true, in particular in the case of the Ganyesa hospital and the clinic

In the case of the woman who lost her twins, the federation demanded the report, the family demanded the report, the human rights commission demanded the report too, yet we were told that the matter is closed.

It must be on record that there matters were raised by COSATU publicly in the media, yet up to now there is no report. The families are still in pain for the loss of the babies.

The department must do its homework. Some of these incidents are caused by doctors who come from outside. The case of the twins was first caused by a doctor from outside who refused to see the mother. After two days the poor woman came back and was seen by South African doctor who found that the next twin was also dead.

At the old hospital at Moruleng a family member or the mother of diseased was taken to court, but up to now none of the family member knows what happened to the case.

COSATU calls on all healthcare workers not to open health institutions when an authorised person is not available in the institution, as this put their careers in danger. We call our members to be revolutionaries in defending the lives of our poor people, particular in rural and farm areas.

COSATU has a campaign on revolutionary commitment, asking our members do more or extra work for the poor society of our country.

COSATU also calls on the department of health to speedily investigate the root courses of these deaths and resolve the matter. We are asking the NW department of health to respect all workers, improve their working conditions, give them all the support and equipment to do their jobs properly.

For more information call COSATU NW Provincial Secretary, Solly Phetoe, on 08230440