The strike at the National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS) entered its fourth day on Monday as unions presented a revised wage offer to their members. The strike — which began on Wednesday — has crippled the service‚ which provides laboratory and related public health services to over 80% of the population through a national network of laboratories. The NHLS has been using private laboratory services for emergency tests required by hospitals. The National Education‚ Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) also called for the NHLS to be reintegrated into the Department of Health. The service said the biggest challenge facing it was non-payment by provincial health departments for laboratory services it had rendered. It singled out the Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal health departments as the biggest defaulters but said KwaZulu-Natal had been paying for their current consumption since the 2016-17 financial year. The Gauteng health department owes the NHLS about R700m. Nehawu general secr...

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