EFF march for bet­ter health care

Pretoria News Weekend - - NEWS - RUDZANI MATSHILI

rudzani.matshili@inl.co.za THE EFF were on the march again yes­ter­day, this time to in­sist on proper treat­ment for pa­tients at state hos­pi­tals.

The marchers also raised the claims of pa­tients that some nurses hu­mil­i­ated them by call­ing out their HIV/Aids sta­tus when they were wait­ing in queues to re­ceive their med­i­ca­tion.

They said this was hu­mil­i­at­ing and added to the stig­ma­ti­sa­tion of HIV.

The pro­test­ers met at the Sisulu Street taxi rank and made their way to Tsh­wane District Hospi­tal and Steve Biko Aca­demic Hospi­tal.

Their protest songs drew spec­ta­tors to their apart­ment bal­conies.

A num­ber of pass­ing mo­torists hooted loudly in sup­port of the pro­test­ers.

Both hos­pi­tals were given seven days to give pos­i­tive re­sponses to their com­ments.

Ac­cord­ing to the chair­per­son of the EFF in the City of Tsh­wane, Moafrika Mabong­wana, the march was part of the party’s 2018 theme: “a year of pub­lic care.”

“The pub­lic health-care sys­tem has col­lapsed, there­fore the EFF are tak­ing this op­por­tu­nity to visit all hos­pi­tals to make a dif­fer­ence,” he told the Pre­to­ria News.

The Min­is­ter of Health, Aaron Mot­soaledi, re­cently con­firmed that out of over 50 hos­pi­tals in the coun­try, only five met the min­i­mum stan­dards.

EFF mem­bers re­cently marched to Ge­orge Mukhari Aca­demic Hospi­tal and Ju­bilee Hospi­tal in bids to make a dif­fer­ence.

Steve Biko’s on­col­ogy ward is re­port­edly on the verge of col­lapse, and marchers de­manded that the is­sue be re­solved so pa­tients could be as­sisted sooner.

“We de­mand a fully func­tion­ing, well-staffed, well-equipped on­col­ogy unit be­cause can­cer pa­tients are forced to wait long for ra­di­a­tion,” the pro­test­ers said.

“We de­mand that all pa­tients, ir­re­spec­tive of race, gen­der, creed, class or na­tion­al­ity, be treated with re­spect and dig­nity.”

They also asked that lifts in the Steve Biko hospi­tal be fixed “so they are not con­stantly fail­ing”.

On their list was the de­mand to re­in­state 65 se­cu­rity of­fi­cials, who were dis­missed for mis­con­duct last year af­ter em­bark­ing on an un­pro­tected strike.

Man­age­ment from both hos­pi­tals have com­mit­ted to re­spond to the is­sues raised.

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