nehawu80The Citizen reports that according to the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu), the state of Gauteng public hospitals has been “deplorable” for years.

Moreover, previous cases of hospital fires clearly showing that there was no accountability for non-compliance with occupational health and safety standards. The union’s statement came after about 400 patients at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital urgently had to be evacuated to other facilities, due to a blaze at the health facility at the weekend. The fire has since been extinguished but the hospital has been forced to shut its doors for seven days. Nehawu called for the fire safety measures at Charlotte Maxeke Hospital to be investigated. The root of the deplorable state of the province’s hospitals was lack of funding of infrastructure development and compliance inspections, said Nehawu spokesperson Khaya Xaba. “These hospitals do not adhere to occupational health and safety. The Department of [Employment and] Labour does not force these hospitals to adhere or enforce compliance and are also to blame. They should be sending inspectors to hospitals to check compliance. The state of the hospitals is deplorable and has been for years,” he claimed. According to Xaba, it was clear no one would be held accountable, just as had been the case with the Bank of Lisbon fire that killed three firefighters. “People did not face punitive measures for what happened there,” he noted.


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