Strike by forensic pathology officers over

06 July 2017 - 15:25 By Penwell Dlamini
Selby Cindi, a forensic officer from Johannesburg Forensic Pathology Services in Hillbrow, brings in the body of an accident victim. File photo.
Selby Cindi, a forensic officer from Johannesburg Forensic Pathology Services in Hillbrow, brings in the body of an accident victim. File photo.
Image: Alon Skuy

The Gauteng department of health has committed to clearing the backlog of corpses at mortuaries across the province within three days following an end to a protracted strike by forensic pathology officers.

"With all the staff back it should take us three days to clear the backlog‚" said Gauteng health MEC Gwen Ramokgopa.

On Thursday‚ Ramokgopa announced that the strike by the forensic pathology officers had ended and work had begun to clear the backlog of corpses which had not been processed.

There are 11 mortuaries in Gauteng and 188 officers downed tools on June 8 in most of these facilities‚ creating havoc for families who had lost their loved ones.

The officers we're demanding: - a danger allowance; - aligning of salary scales pertaining to the 2006 transfer from SAPS to the Gauteng department of health; - revised job descriptions; - provision of equipment and protective clothing; - the re-introduction of de-briefing sessions; and - a special allowance for dissection and evisceration.

Here are the responses of the department to these demands: - The department resolved that danger allowances will be implemented effectively from April 2017 in line with the Bargaining Council resolution 4 of 2017. - Salary scale issues will be addressed and implemented by the end of July 2017. - The de-briefing sessions will be reinstated with immediate effect. - Protective clothing is procured and the Forensic Pathology Services will ensure that these are always in stock. - The department has introduced a provisional special allowance for evisceration and dissection under the supervision of a pathologist or medical officer.

Ramokgopa said there were no backlogs in Sebokeng‚ Garankuwa‚ Bronkhorstspruit‚ Heidelberg and Carletonville.

However‚ in Roodepoort the backlog of corpses is 20‚ in Johannesburg it’s 58‚ with 22 admitted on Wednesday which include the seven from the fire disaster in the City centre. In Germiston the backlog stands at 72.

"We are looking at measures of further interventions to assist in dealing with the backlog‚" Ramokgopa said.

"With officers back at work‚ we are confident that over a period of three days these backlogs will have been dealt with‚" she said.

- TimesLIVE

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