South Africa

SA’s healthcare system is broken, and neglecting its workers

PREMIUM!

Covid-19 has exposed our healthcare system as being as broken as industry bodies have always claimed, while an Oxfam report has found the sector is plagued by unfair labour practices and poor treatment of workers

PREMIUM!

SA’s healthcare system is broken, and neglecting its workers

Picture for illustration. Nurses at work at the Nasrec Expo Centre to house coronavirus patients, Johannesburg, 14 April 2020. Picture: Twitter / SABC

The country’s healthcare system could be ill-prepared to deal with the coming influx of coronavirus cases, as the sector is plagued by unfair labour practices and poor treatment of workers. A report by Oxfam South Africa found that nurses, who are the backbone of South Africa’s national health system, as they make up 77% of the sector, were underpaid for the work and hours put in.  Some nurses can work up to 24 hours without a break. The sector also had a shortage of professional nurses, as only half the number were employed between 2012 and 2016 as compared to...

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