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Chaos at North West clinic as workers attack patients

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Chaos at North West clinic as workers attack patients

Patients at Lonely Park Clinic in Mahikeng, North West, had to run in different directions yesterday. This after community health workers used pepper spray, stones, and eggs to chase them away.

The workers started at the offices of the health department, where they used the same method to vandalize the building.

At Tshepong Hospital, they blocked the entrance and refused entry to anyone who wanted to get in or out, including doctors and nurses.

A community health worker said they’ve been working for years, but the system did not want to accept them as permanent employees.

“We work more than the nurses. They make us do their job. We sometimes help inject babies when they come for immunization. We have families and need to get decent salaries,” she said.

Patient Sekgabi Molelekwa from Top Village had to return home after a security guard at Lonely Park Clinic told her it was closed.

“I came to take my high blood treatment. The next thing they will be telling me I have defaulted,” she said.

At Bodibe Clinic, Elsie Gabayo also had to go back home without treatment for a mentally-ill patient.

“I don’t have money to buy his treatment. They should have thought of us before spraying us with pepper spray,” she said.

North West Health spokesman Tebogo Lekgethwane said: “We are disturbed by an element of criminality in the ongoing strike of community health workers.

While the department respects the right to strike, that doesn’t extend to preventing patients from accessing healthcare and destroying public property.”

Lekgethwane said the department has started the process of employing community health workers on a full-time basis.

North West police spokeswoman Amanda Funani said a case of malicious damage to property has been opened. “Our members are monitoring the situation, but no arrest has been made.

Source | Daily Sun

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