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August 24, 2010

South African Strike Affects Emergency Medical Services

A strike by one million civil servants in South Africa that began on 18 August has affected emergency medical services. Armed security forces have been deployed outside 37 hospitals in the country to keep emergency medical services open. Many hospitals in Johannesburg have ha

By cms admin

A strike by one million civil servants in South Africa that began on 18 August has affected emergency medical services.

Armed security forces have been deployed outside 37 hospitals in the country to keep emergency medical services open.

Many hospitals in Johannesburg have had army medics working inside, with the police and soldiers managing the protestors outside.

Unions affiliated to the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) are demanding an 8.6% pay rise, but the South African Government is only willing to offer an increase of 7%.

The government had obtained an order against the strike, which instructs those involved in emergency services to return to work and forbids the blockading of state buildings.

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said that the hospital workers who interrupted vital medical care and forced colleagues to join the strike were carrying out actions tantamount to murder.

The country’s health ministry has asked volunteers to help cook food for patients and clean hospitals.

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