Violent strike action is murdering the public

Posted: August 20, 2010 in death, medical
Tags: , , ,

Currently in South Africa we have a public services strike, specifically effecting the healthcare industry. Now, we have strikes all the time here. They are never happy with the increases, working conditions and whatever else they feel they need to moan about. What amazes me is that while we in the private sector continuously get a basic living increase, the public sector feels that their, normally up to 4 % more than us, increase is never enough and that they deserve to get more.

Now, I honestly believe that the healthcare industry is a very honorable profession. Hell, I’m in it so i do understand. Its not a job, its a calling, a vocation and a profession. But this strike has gone beyond professional. This strike has now become everything that we fight against on a daily bases.

Its become violent!

The police and the national defence force has had to be deployed to the hospitals, just to protect patients. The strikers are violently refusing entry to sick and injured people, that are just trying to find help and, more importantly, use their God-given right to have access to healthcare.

Many of my colleagues are helping out at the hospitals, transferring sick and dying children to Private hospitals, at the governments expense, just so that they can get help. Yesterday, sick people outside the one government hospital in Johannesburg, were stripped naked by the strikers and beaten, at another, they were shooting at ambulances trying to deliver the injured…

I was flying on the Emergency Helicopter yesterday. We had to fly to Vereeniging, South of Johannesburg, to pick up a young man that had his hand amputated through a violent act. From there, we had to fly him to Pretoria, a good 150 km just to get him to a surgeon at a government hospital that was striking, but was allowing critical patients in.

I know this is a rant , which i don’t normally do on  my blog, but i just had to get this off my chest. These supposed healthcare workers are an embarrassment to our profession, and should be gotten rid of, and genuine, caring nurses and Doctors should be employed in their place.

  1. Dad says:

    I fully agree with you. I can certainly understand your frustration and disgust at these people who damage your professions ethics and everything you do to help people.

  2. Thanks for your perspective. My nanny’s daughter had a baby at Kalafong on Tuesday and developed post birth pre eclampsia. She was watched over the night on Wednesday by the doctor. This kind man stayed through the night in the maternity wards an watched over the patients that needed help. I think that is amazing and the true spirit of what a doctor should be. Yesterday morning the army nurses stepped in and she says all is going well apart of the cleaning, which is a mess.

  3. Yes – well said Carl

  4. lovecybelle says:

    Hi Carl

    As a student nurse working in Helen Joseph, I get where you are coming from – feel free to read my blog:

    With regards to your last point – how do we tell who are the genuine ones and who are not?

    I am not striking, but the varsity has told us not to go to work because they fear for our safety as do we. I fear to wear my uniform – something I should be proud of.

    Instead I have volunteered at Joburg Gen for over 12 hours today. So am i bad for “striking” or good for “volunteering”?


  5. Nicole says:

    I respect what is being said, and I can definitely see the enormous gap between the “CEO” of the hospital and a newly qualified RN’s salary. I even know that the unions have been at the negotiating table with government since April and declared a dispute before the SWC and did not strike in the best interests of the country – something has to be said for that. BUT what I cannot respect or accept is the attitude toward individuals exercising their DEMOCRATIC and CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT – yes their RIGHTS to not strike and to help people in need, to teach children, to render a service to their fellow man!!!!!

    I have not seen it first hand this time, but from what my colleagues are reporting, even the most seasoned and hardened are cracking at what they are seeing. The stories that are coming out, of pregnant women being smacked around by strikers and new moms hiding in toilets and under beds with their babies, of lab workers hiding under their benches to avoid being beaten, of operating theatres being stormed while operations are underway and the staff being bullied to leave.
    We have all heard about the babies whose caretakers who wanted to work were denied access and they were evacuated to Private Hospitals. Some are really sick, but some are doing so well with a little love and care. How many patients will be affected by this strike? Every hour I hear a new story and my heart breaks at what is happening.

    Unions – We respect that you have demands and that you have taken the matter beyond the negotiation table, but how dare Union leaders allow their members to intimidate those who chose to work, who respect what is being negotiated, but who chose and by choosing exercise their rights. Get with the program folks and demonstrate peacefully to get your point across and leave those who chose to work alone!

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