Cape Town – A pregnant woman injured in a hit-and-run accident in Pietermaritzburg reportedly died after she was allegedly denied medical treatment amid the ongoing public servants’ strike.
The 30-year-old woman died on Tuesday after waiting for hours for medical attention.
Healthcare services have been disrupted at hospitals across the country, as healthcare workers went on strike demanding a salary increase of 10-12% instead of the offered – 4.7%.
The National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) has threatened to spread its strike actions across the country, should their demands not be met.
According to The Witness, Thandokuhle Mlotshwa was knocked down in a hit-and-run accident and later died of her injuries after allegedly being denied emergency treatment by striking healthcare workers at Northdale Hospital.
The report said that KwaZulu Private Ambulance took Mlotshwa to the hospital where she spent hours on the ambulance stretcher before eventually receiving medical attention.
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“I am traumatised by the reports that she did not immediately receive medical attention because I believe that had it been the case, she could have been saved. The Health Department should have had plans in place to deal with a situation like this,” the report quoted Paramedic, Hans Hartmann as saying.
Meanwhile, KZN Health MEC, Nomagugu Simelane has called for the striking healthcare workers to stop blocking access to health care, reported IOL.
“Allow health-care workers to get work so they can save lives; and do not stop patients from coming into our health facilities because if you continue to do so, you will have blood on your hands,” the MEC was quoted saying.
He said the workers’ demands fell outside of the jurisdiction of the provincial government and that it was difficult “to negotiate in our different corners on matters that are on a national level”.
East Coast Radio said the entrance to Greys Hospital in Pietermaritzburg on Tuesday was blocked by burning tyres, and non-striking employees were intimidated or removed from their posts.
The report said disruptions were also reported at some health facilities in eThekwini, uThukela and Umgungundlovu.
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Compiled by Olwethu Mpeshe