On Sunday the Western Cape Department of Health revealed that approximately 30 Emergency Medical Services (EMS) workers based in Khayelitsha had gone on strike.
The workers raised issues and concerns around the supply of protective gear. However, EMS spokesperson Deanna Bessick reportedly said, “All staff across the province have a continued supply of PPE [personal protective equipment].”
“The guidelines have been developed and published for all Western Cape health care workers and the Department of Health has also issued an EMS specific circular to offer additional direction.”
“The staff, however, are disputing this and are refusing to work unless the department adhere to their perceived PPE demands.”
The strike has placed extra strain on emergency services.
“We have had to call upon the crews and staff from across the city to ensure that the Khayelitsha community does not suffer for this error in judgement,” Bessick said.
National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) secretary, Eric Kweleta, says discussions with the provincial health department would be held on Monday 4 May to decide on a way forward.
The outcome of discussions were unavailable at the time of this article.