Coronavirus: Nehawu demands protection, overtime pay for healthcare workers
Pretoria - Labour union organising South Africa’s public and private health sector, the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) on Monday said it was seeking a meeting with Health Minister Zweli Mkhize to discuss the state of readiness, protection and remuneration for healthcare workers.
The union said it wants to “unequivocally declare” that its members will partake in all the processes of testing, quarantining and treating people who have come in contact with the virus.
“Our members are more than ready to assist our government and the department of health in confronting the virus and ensuring that there is immediate help for those who require medical attention.
"The department in return would have to ensure that our members receive all the necessary protective clothing and training in dealing with both confirmed and suspected cases of the virus,” Nehawu said in a statement.
“In this regard, we demand that the department ensures that workers have all the protective clothing and equipment they need when assisting patients to protect themselves from contracting the virus.”
Nehawu said its members who are on the frontline of South Africa’s fight against Covid-19 must receive all the necessary support to deal with the pandemic “and they must be remunerated for overtime if they have to put in extra hours considering that our healthcare system is understaffed”.
The union said the health department must ensure that healthcare workers receive the protective clothing and training in dealing with both confirmed and suspected cases of the virus in South Africa.
On Monday, Mkhize announced that four more South Africans had tested positive for Covid-19, bringing the total confirmed cases to seven.
All the cases in South Africa are linked to a group of ten people who travelled to Italy on holiday.
African News Agency (ANA)