Bara patients outraged after being turned away by striking nurses, admin staff

Striking public servants affiliated to several unions barricaded the entrances to the health facility on Chris Hani Road in Soweto on Tuesday.

FILE: Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG – Some patients queuing at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital were left outraged when they were shown the door after nurses and admin staff disrupted services.

Striking public servants affiliated to several unions barricaded the entrances to the health facility on Chris Hani Road in Soweto on Tuesday.

This comes as negotiations for wages in the public sector are deadlocked.

Government has made what it called a final offer of 7.5%, comprising 3% pensionable and 4.5% non-pensionable funds.

But unions have rejected this and are demanding a 10% increase.

Other demands include a housing allowance hike of R2,500 and bursary schemes for children of public servants.

Doctors at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital arrived at work on Tuesday to find they would have to take on the nurse’s responsibilities on top of their own.

The health workers’ strike has also placed the welfare of thousands of patients in jeopardy.

Some told Eyewitness News how they were chased away by the protesting public servants, while those waiting for treatment were told to go home.

Chanting songs with posters and placards in hand, members affiliated to various unions continue to block roads and entrances.

Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) spokesperson, Xolani Fihla: “The intersection of Chris Hani Road and Patrick Road at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital in Diepkloof, Soweto is blocked off to traffic and this is due to protest action.”

It’s understood all surgeries at South Africa’s biggest health facility were canceled for the day.

This has added to its already increasing backlog.

Meanwhile, the Gauteng Health Department said that it was investigating which services may have been affected by the strike.

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