DURBAN – The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) has claimed that Durban’s Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital has become the new epicentre of COVID-19 infections with regards to health workers in the province.
Previously, the highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases among healthcare workers emanated from Netcare’s St. Augustine’s Hospital in Durban.
But Nehawu claims over 100 workers at the central hospital have now tested positive for the coronavirus and calls for all healthcare workers to be tested have been ignored.
Healthcare workers at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital have complained about what they call severe staff shortages, which have contributed to the neglect of patients.
Linda Bambeni, a nurse at the facility, said they started complaining about staff shortages before the advent of COVID-19 but very little had been done.
“The management was supposed to employ more people so that we can have a ratio that was going to make it conducive for us to work, but that was not sorted until we started having a ward full of patients.”
Nehawu KZN secretary Ayanda Zulu said they were concerned about the safety of healthcare workers and they were now contemplating court action.
“You might see us heading back to the Labour Court to challenge the Department of Health in terms of making sure that they comply with the OHS Act.”
The union wanted the COVID-19 outbreak at the facility to be investigated.