Pathology strike over low wage hikes would seriously harm sick patients
The DA says a strike by National Health Laboratory Service workers will be devastating as the lab is responsible for about 80% of SA’s pathology diagnostics
The DA has called on Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi to urgently intervene in what it says is a "looming national pathology strike".
DA health spokesperson Patricia Kopane said in a statement on Tuesday that the pending strike followed an admission by the National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS) that it would not be able to meet the 7.3% salary increase demanded by pathology professionals and their trade unions.
The NHLS was only able to offer 3%.
"It is crucial that arrangements are made with private laboratories in advance, as a strike at the NHLS will be devastating for patients in need of urgent tests for HIV/AIDS, malaria, cancer and multi-drug resistant tuberculosis," Kopane said.
She added that the strike could have "devastating consequences", as the NHLS was responsible for more than 80% of the country’s pathology diagnostic services.
Kopane said Motsoaledi should provide a detailed plan of action to deal with the consequences of the strike.
A strike by about 180 forensic assistants in Gauteng ended when the provincial health department promised to reverse their remuneration scales to their pre-2010 levels.
The forensic assistants had embarked on industrial action, claiming they were underpaid and doing work they were not qualified for.