oa South African Medical Journal - The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (NEHAWU) strikes - correspondence

Volume 108 Number 11
  • ISSN : 0256-9574
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5135



To the Editor: Articles by Dhai and Mahomed[1] and McQuoid- Mason[2] on the recent industrial unrest in North West Province (NWP) cover important aspects, including rights governing labour action, patients’ rights and negotiation for essential services. Over the past decade, we have lived through at least five NWP-wide strikes and numerous localised industrial actions. The larger strikes resulted in increased morbidity and mortality, particularly affecting disadvantaged sections of the community, who are totally dependent on public health services and powerless to choose other facilities for healthcare. The increased morbidity would have permanent sequelae, reducing life expectancy and quality of life – a realistic example is the unavailability of insulin or antihypertensives at clinics, resulting in well-described clinical complications and chronic disease progression.

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