MEC vows to deal with strike intimidation

Friday, September 3, 2010

Pretoria - Health officials in the Free State are working hard to ensure the safeguarding of services and the safety of staff during the public service strike.

This follows reports of increased intimidation of staff members who were not taking part in the current public sector wage strike.

"We are extremely concerned about the increasing levels of intimidation and the effect this is having on our ability to provide access to health care services to our patients.

"Our clinics, as the basic access points to our health service network, are soft targets and support services such as laundry supply are being affected," said Health MEC Sisi Mabe.

She said authorities have beefed up management to take critical decisions in areas where there is a disruption of services.

Mabe called on chronic patients and those requiring antiretroviral to always carry their patient cards and identity documents when using a health facility as these will assist authorities to render care at any facility.

"It is our desire that the current situation is resolved amicably as soon as possible but I need to warn intimidators and people acting criminally that they will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law when interfering with the right not to strike or the right to strike," said Mabe.