02 June 2020
The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) and our affiliated union in the healthcare sector, the Health and Other Services Personnel Trade Union of South Africa (HOSPERSA) is deeply shocked and outraged that Tygerberg Hospital, the largest hospital in the Western Cape and the second largest hospital in South Africa, has the direct potential of becoming the major breeding ground and killing field for perpetual attacks of the deadly Corona Virus. In the context of an overwhelmed health facility, the general public and visitors alike, walk unchecked and unscreened into a dungeon of infections, where COVID – 19 patients are not being quarantined safely enough to stop them from becoming a source of death that will not spare anyone inside the complex.
The situation is so dire that FEDUSA believes Tygerberg Hospital will become a national test case of the Department of Employment and Labour’s ability and capacity to manage and control a volatile Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) flashpoint. The sad irony of this situation, is that this critical institution has totally blemished South Africa’s ability to move towards the realisation and implementation of a National Health Insurance, said FEDUSA General Secretary, Riefdah Ajam.
A preliminary inspection of the hospital complex by FEDUSA and HOSPERSA on Monday to ascertain for itself the OHS risks under which its members are operating and exposed to, has revealed a plethora of dangerous levels of reckless violations of fundamental COVID-19 protocols. Adding insult to injury, was the casual movement of a deceased, who had just passed on because of COVID 19, without any urgency in preventing exposure to anyone. FEDUSA also believes that the mind boggles about the logic – medical or otherwise – of locating the COVID-19 Ward directly below the Intensive Care Unit at Tygerberg Hospital.
FEDUSA therefore calls on the Department of Employment and Labour to act without fear or favour and execute their mandate with precision, by shutting down this institution and preventing a catastrophe from happening.
Moreover, FEDUSA will call for an urgent, independent investigation to be conducted, following a number of deaths that have occurred due to natural causes in the greater Cape Town municipal district, which have been classified as COVID 19, exacerbating the already alarmingly high statistics that has classified the province as the COVID 19 epicentre of South Africa.
For interviews please contact:
Ms Riefdah Ajam
FEDUSA General Secretary
079 696 2626
Ms. Marthinique Marinus
HOSPERSA Provincial Manager
079 812 1184
Mr. Gerald Lotriet
HOSPERSA Provincial Chairperson
083 855 8662
FEDUSA Media and Research Officer
072 637 8096