‘We need full protective equipment’ – Picketing False Bay Hospital staff

The striking staff says there were not enough nurses to deal with the demand as trauma patients and coronavirus cases increase.

Staff at the False Bay hospital picket on 19 June 2020 over PPE shortage as COVID-19 infections in the province increase. Picture: Jarita Kaasen/EWN

CAPE TOWN – Healthcare workers at False Bay Hospital picketed over staff shortages and insufficient personal protective equipment (PPE) on Friday.

They say there were not enough nurses to deal with the demand as trauma patients and coronavirus cases increase.

A nurse at False Bay Hospital, Songezo Nompunga, said the PPEs provided were insufficient.

"We must only put the surgical mask, a plastic apron and gloves. we need full PPEs."

Staff claim the facility is also not doing proper deep cleaning.

Nompunga is concerned about the critical shortage of nurses.

"We are working more than 12 hours for more than four days [each week], you not going to give a proper, decent care to the patient."

The Western Cape Health Department said the recommended PPEs for each risk area were available.

It said the facility was cleaned often and when necessary, deep cleaning was done.

The department is also working with agencies to fill nursing posts.

According to the department, 15 staff members tested positive for the virus and are recovering.

But staff say about 60 workers at the hospital have been infected.