22 health workers  contract Covid-19

22 health workers contract Covid-19

MASERU-Twenty-two health workers have been isolated after contracting Covid-19 while one is in Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
That is according to a spokesman of the Coalition of Health Professionals (CHP), Dr Mojakisane Ramafikeng.

Dr Ramafikeng made the disclosure as doctors and nurses pressed on with their strike action that began on Monday. The strike has paralysed health delivery services at hospitals and clinics.

Several health centres countrywide were closed to the public with security guards turning away patients at the gates.
At Qoaling Filter Clinic many patients were told at the gate that they would not be attended to by doctors.
At the Queen ’Mamohato Memorial Hospital nurses were milling outside basking in the sun on Monday as scores of patients were turned away at the gate.

At St Joseph’s Hospital in Roma, only pregnant women who were about to give birth were allowed in.
There were complaints from patients who said they were unable to refill their supplies for high blood, diabetes and HIV tablets because of the workers’ strike.

’Mathabo Moshoeshoe, a diabetic patient, told this paper that she had failed to refill her supply of pills at Qoaling clinic.
“I don’t know how I am going to get my pills,” Moshoeshoe said.
“Without the pills I will die,” she said.
Dr Ramafikeng said they were pleased with the turnout adding the strike action was successful.

He said Covid-19 testing was also at stake as testing is done by the very same people on strike.
“We are not striking to enrich ourselves. Life at this time is hard for us as we have to take high precautions,” Dr Ramafikeng said.
The health workers are demanding that the government supplies them with protective equipment to fight Covid-19.

They also want a M7 000 risk allowance.
The government has however turned down the request, pleading poverty.
A meeting between the health professionals and the Minister of Health Motlatsi Maqelepo failed to take off.
The workers withdrew after the Ministry of Health issued a “threatening memo” saying those who would not report for work would face disciplinary action.

Maqelepo told this paper on Tuesday that he will take legal action against striking health workers who are under the government’s payroll.
He said some health facilities were operating normally.
“At some places there are workers who are working and others are not,” Maqelepo said.

He said they realised that some facilities were only helping admitted patients while others were not operational at all.
“We will take legal action against the health practitioners who went on strike,” he said, adding: “But it is important that we continue with negotiations.”

He said he was surprised when the health workers cancelled their meeting on Sunday claiming he had already issued a statement that was prejudicial to their cause.
Maqelepo said the government had done everything in its power to provide allowances to health professionals.
“They demanded a tax holiday which is impossible as there are long procedures that have to be followed, including the Central Bank, LRA, World Bank and the Ministry of Finance,” he said.

He said the workers had even suggested that the government pays M3 000 allowances for category one workers, M2 000 for category two and M1 500 for the third category.
But even these were still too high for the government.

He however said after long talks of trying to negotiate them, they together decided to increase the amounts by M500 for each category.
“But they refused saying they want M 7000 on top of their salaries,” he said.
Maqelepo the government could have bought PPEs for health workers a long time ago but there were conflicts between the Health Ministry, Finance and Cabinet.

“We tried to solve the issue,” he said.
He said although there are still some PPEs in the health centres, they were still not enough to cater for everyone.
“No health facility can say they do not have PPEs at all,” he said.
He said they are working towards buying more PPEs.
He said they are already paying allowances to health workers who are working at isolation centres.

He said they had also identified places where infected health workers will be isolated.
Maqelepo appealed to health workers not to jeopardise “health delivery in Lesotho”.
“Lesotho is run by laws, including public service laws and the labour code, which clearly explain how civil servants who provide essential services must behave,” he said.

“Some people are taking chances with the pandemic to make money for themselves.”
He said health workers should know that “they are not (the only ones) on the frontline”.
“There are police and soldiers too.”
He said it was a national embarrassment that Basotho were not being helped at health facilities.

“I plead with them to do their job.”
He said it is unacceptable that the frontline workers were downing tools at a time when the Covid-19 situation was getting worse.
“Because of the strike the infections and deaths might go high.”
“How would the nurses feel if their families die of this?”
He also said they will get the list of people who are working and those who are not.

“France gave its workers 180 euros, which is equivalent to M3 500 meaning Lesotho is trying to be at par with other countries,” he said.
He said about M10 million per month will be spent on health allowances.

Nkheli Liphoto

Previous When ‘death is only way out
Next When art is therapeutic

Warning: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in /home/thepostc/public_html/wp-content/themes/trendyblog-theme/includes/single/post-tags-categories.php on line 7

About author

You might also like

News

A corona hygiene bucket

ROMA-THIS brilliant Corona Hygiene Bucket uses technology to ensure you don’t touch anything — while washing your hands — to reduce chances of catching coronavirus. The bucket has no tap

News

Wool and mohair farmers caught up in fight

MASERU – WHEN two elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers. That has been particularly true for Lesotho’s wool and mohair farmers who find themselves caught up in a fight

News

The frugal millionaire who swindled the poor

MASERU – MKM founder, Simon Thebe-ea-Khale, lived a frugal life at a time when millions of maloti were rolling into his pockets as he helped himself to the monies from investors