Scenes that greet visitors at the [b]Rob Ferreira Hospital in Mbombela, Mpumalanga[/b] during the current strike include a mortuary with decomposing bodies, dysfunctional fridges and unhygienic patient wards, says a [s]Sowetan[/s] report. Hundreds of employees at the hospital downed tools last week over overtime pay that has not been settled, lack of equipment, cleaning materials and uniforms.
Community safety, security and liaison MEC Vusi Shongwe described the situation as: ‘not up to standard. I have been inside and what I saw is bad. The situation is not right.’
The report notes that reports taken on a tour of the hospital found a corpse that had been lying unattended since the beginning of the week on the third floor. In the mortuary, fridges were not working. Some had doors that would not close but there were bodies inside. An employee said: ‘This is a situation we face every day. I am always sick because of this unhygienic place. If fridges here were working properly, I would not get infections. I have to come in here every day and it poses a health risk.’
Shongwe and health MEC Gillion Mashego were dispatched from the executive council cabinet lekgotla to try and normalise the situation. Mashego asked striking workers to allow the government time to consult cabinet on the matter. But it was Shongwe who saved the day by convincing workers to return to work. The MEC said a meeting would be convened with the workers on 12 December to give feedback on what had been done and what was outstanding.