Durban - Army doctors have been brought in to assist with autopsies following a stalemate between the KZN Department of Health and pathology staff as the mortuary go-slow enters its sixth week.
The army doctors arrived on Friday at the KwaDukuza district morgue and were working on at least 36 autopsy cases - wanting to ensure that the grieving families affected by the backlog were able to bury their loved ones.
Mortuary staff have been on a go-slow since November 9. They are demanding pay for overtime worked and better working conditions. They claim the department owes 31 workers about R60million in back pay and are refusing to settle. They have vowed a total shutdown.
However KZN Health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo said doing autopsies was a national duty and required people to be patriots, wanting to protect and be loyal to their country, not striking illegally.
“The job of doing autopsies before 2015 was the job of police and maybe we should give the job back to the police.”
Dhlomo said it was sad that someone who had already suffered the pain of losing a loved one had to suffer by not being able to bury them.