Doctors being blocked from entering hospital in North West

09 May 2018 - 09:30 By Katharine Child
A looted Caltex petrol station in Klerksdorp during protests two weeks ago that shut the state hospital down.
A looted Caltex petrol station in Klerksdorp during protests two weeks ago that shut the state hospital down.
Image: Tiro Ramatlhatse

Protesters are again disrupting Tshepong Hospital in the North West‚ preventing doctors from entering the premises.

The hospital is just a few kilometers from Klerksdorp Hospital‚ which was partly shut down by protesters yesterday.

Tshepong Hospital has faced disruptions for two weeks now. Staff are demonstrating against alleged corruption in the health department as well as a shortage of doctors and nurses. Community health workers and lay HIV counsellors‚ who earn R2‚500 a month‚ are also protesting against their low pay.

The protests are continuing even as provincial premier Supra Mahumapelo resigned yesterday.

While some doctors were already inside‚ those arriving on Wednesday morning were prevented from entering the hospital. Protesters also pulled staff out of the forensic laboratory‚ where families come to fetch their deceased loved ones for burial‚ said Professor Ebrahim Variava.

Veriava said protesters pronounced‚ "It's claimed patients are dying every day‚ but the doctors are lying". This assertion garnered applause from demonstrators.

Although police are on the scene‚ they are not helping health workers access the hospital‚ the professor said.

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