Health workers pile more pressure on government

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By Nicole Tau

Health workers across the country are exerting pressure on Ministry of Health and threatening down tools from Monday until their safety demands are honoured, according to their July 10 letter addressed to the ministry.

In the letter, health workers in public and private sectors say that they will no longer expose themselves to the Covid-19 risk without personal protective equipment, scrubbing tools and protective uniforms and warm clothing.

Amongst the myriad of their demands, the workers want functional ventilated facilities, oxygen tanks for patients, disinfection of contaminated environments for their safety and family compensation in the event of a health worker’s Covid-19 related death.

“The five points were requested to be in place urgently, with deadline of Friday, July 10 2020. Otherwise, withdrawal from risk starts on Monday July 13, 2020,” the letter reads in part.

Speaking to KDNews yesterday, the Minister of Health, Motlatsi Maqelepo, said that he, and his office, were not aware of such letter.

The letter also referred the workers previous negotiations with the government, where they were told that the government was yet to procure the demanded items and process payments for Covid-19 workers “but some still not paid since April”.

They added government blatantly shot down their tax holiday and private sector risk allowance demands.

In addition, the health workers are also demanding hazardous allowance for six months, in line with their differing per the risk levels, with amounts ranging from M1500 to M3000 per month respectively.

“Against the stalemate with government, we humbly inform you that health workers will now, as from Monday 13th July 2020, have to withdraw themselves from the source of infection until the above requests are met,” the letter said.

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