Community health workers demonstrate in the Northern Cape. Picture: Supplied by Kagiso Mokoe
Community health workers demonstrate in the Northern Cape. Picture: Supplied by Kagiso Mokoe

Union strengthens call for nationwide absorption of community health workers

By James Mahlokwane Time of article published Sep 2, 2020

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Pretoria - The National Union of Public Service and Allied Workers has strengthened its call for a nationwide absorption of community health workers with a #DoLikeGauteng campaign.

The union has been working with community healthcare workers to demonstrate across various provinces to convince provincial governments to act like Gauteng and show interest to resolve the grievances of community health workers.

Gauteng Health MEC Dr Bandile Masuku in June said 8 500 community healthcare workers would be converted into level two employees by the beginning of July.

He said  these workers provided primary care through the 791-functional fully-fledged ward-based outreach teams and the department introduced the comprehensive chronic medicine programme, which benefits 721 350 patients.

In the spirit of convincing other provinces to jump on board, the union said it is also calling for a R2 000 Covid-19 danger allowance.

This week, community health workers led by the union began demonstrations in provinces like Limpopo, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and the Western Cape.

Spokesperson for the union Kagiso Makoe and national organiser Solly Malema said they've been fighting for the rights of the men and women who've been exploited by the current system for a very long time and subjected to meagre stipends ranging between R2 500 and R3 500.

Makoe said they've been fighting this battle for many years and they will not stop until all community health workers are recognised and rewarded accordingly, instead of being treated as if they were not important.

She said the exploitation of community health workers must stop because they provided a very respectable and very important service to the Department of Health and the South African public in need of healthcare in their communities.

*For the latest on the Covid-19 outbreak, visit IOL's #Coronavirus trend page.

** If you think you have been exposed to the Covid-19 virus, please call the 24-hour hotline on 0800 029 999 or visit sacoronavirus.co.za

Pretoria News

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