Nurses at Groote Schuur Hospital protest over health, safety concerns

Nehawu said that the staff had raised a number of issues and accused the Western Cape Health Department of not complying with COVID-19 regulations.

A general view of Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town. Picture: www.psychiatry.uct.ac.za

CAPE TOWN - Nurses on Monday protested at Groote Schuur Hospital over COVID-19 related health and safety concerns.

The National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union (Nehawu) said that the staff had raised a number of issues and accused the Western Cape Health Department of not complying with COVID-19 regulations.

The union said that when workers tested positive for the virus, they were told to not communicate that with co-workers.

Nehawu provincial secretary Eric Kweleta said they were also concerned about isolation procedures and insufficient personal protective equipment (PPE).

“They don’t want to comply with the 14-day isolation period, they rather have workers return to work. They have also threatened workers with leave without pay if they don’t come back,” Kweleta said.

Kweleta claimed their concerns were not being heard by the department.

“We tried to write them letters and they have been evasive, and they don’t want to meet with us. Hence now the workers have decided to protest. Workers cannot save the lives of patients if they are not protected,” he said.

For official information about COVID-19 from the Department of Health, please click here.