oa South African Journal of Bioethics and Law - The public's attitude towards strike action by healthcare workers and health services in South Africa



To evaluate a representative group of South Africans for their views about healthcare worker strikes and related matters.

A descriptive, cross-sectional, self-administered questionnaire-based study of 600 participants over the age of 18 years and able to read English, from two representative shopping malls (300 from each mall) in Greater Johannesburg. Data were analysed using SAS software version 9.1.3 for Windows. Tests for significant relationships were carried out using Pearson's χ2 test at the 0.05 confidence level. The strength of the associations was determined by Cramer's V.
Results revealed strong opinions among the population regarding strikes, numerous misapprehensions when it comes to striking and rights, a poor awareness of other healthcare-related rights and the perception of poor treatment at public hospitals.
A majority of South Africans are aware of the healthcare worker strikes and are dissatisfied with the manner in which these take place, with strong objections to the perceived neglect of the critically ill during strikes, compounded by poor treatment at public hospitals. Many South Africans lack awareness of human rights issues, a situation which requires urgent remedy.


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