Netcare hospital group CEO Richard Friedland at a briefing. Hospersa on Friday criticised the planned retrenchments at a number of Netcare Group facilities over the next few weeks. File picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency (ANA).

JOHANNESBURG - The Health and Other Services Personnel Trade Union of South Africa (Hospersa) on Friday criticised the planned retrenchments at a number of Netcare Group facilities over the next few weeks.  

This is after the private healthcare group allegedly issued Hospersa with a notice that it plans to restructure its business operations in its hospital division which would affect 500 of employees.  

According to the notice, the private healthcare giant has highlighted that it needs to reduce its hospital division structure in an attempt to reduce the company's current payroll costs.

Hospersa, the largest trade union at Netcare, has vowed to use all its legal avenues to block any possible retrenchments put forward by the healthcare group.

The trade union said it was shocked by this reason, saying that Netcare raked in millions of rands in the previous financial when it saw a 8.4% increase in revenue which was R20.7 billion in 2018 compared to R19.1 billion in 2017.  

Kevin Halama, Hospersa's spokesperson, said Netcare also recorded a 5.9% increase in patient days as well as a 5.3% increase in final dividend to 60 cents a share. 

Halama said Netcare recorded a 17.8% increase in cash generated amounting to R4.3 billion in South Africa. 

"We reject the reasons given by Netcare for the possible retrenchments,. Netcare has consistently raked in millions of rands in South Africa's heavily monopolised private hospital industry where it is the market leader," Halama said.

"The group's intentions to retrench employees will leave many families without bread winners in a country where unemployment has reached alarming levels, and this we cannot allow. We will consult with our members whose employment is in jeopardy as per the notice issued.

Halama said Hospersa will not back down and will also explore all possible legal avenues to block the planned retrenchments.

Netcare was not immediately available for comment.

African News Agency (ANA)