Pietermaritzburg Man Dies After Not Receiving Medical Attention, Family Blames Nehawu Health Workers’ Strike

Pietermaritzburg Man Dies After Not Receiving Medical Attention, Family Blames Nehawu Health Workers’ Strike

  • A grieving family from Pietermaritzburg has blamed the death of their father on the ongoing Nehawu healthcare workers' strike
  • Parthiben Perumal Naido allegedly died after not reviving necessary medical care because of staffing shortages at Greys Hospital
  • The Nehawu healthcare workers' strike has entered its second week and Health Minister Joe Phaahla says at least four deaths can be linked to the industrial action

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PIETERMARITZBURG - A family from KwaZulu-Natal has blamed the ongoing National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union healthcare strike for the death of their loved one.

Grieving family balmes loved ones death on Nehawu strike
A family from KZN believes Nehawu's nationwide health workers' strike is to blame for their father's death. Image: Mlungisi Louw & triloks
Source: Getty Images

Parthiben Perumal Naido was admitted to Greys Hospital in Pietermaritzburg on 27 February. The 58-year-old man died on Saturday morning, 11 March.

Pietermaritzburg man dies after not receiving medical intervention because of health workers' strike

According to his daughter, Melani Naidoo, her father had a cyst under his liver and gallstones.

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Though the circumstances leading to Naidoo's death are unclear, Melani says that after Naidoo's death, nurses told the family that her father was supposed to go to ICU on Thursday, 9 March but couldn't because there was no staff in that department as workers were on strike.

Naidoo was also scheduled for a procedure on Friday, 10 March, but the operation never happened because there were no nurses and doctors to perform the surgery, TimesLIVE reported.

Nehawu members embark on nationwide health workers' strike for 10% wage increase

The nationwide healthcare workers' strike started on Monday, 6 March, with Nehawu demanding a 10% wage increase for its members.

Though the industrial action is legal and protected by the law, it has resulted in massive disruptions to the public healthcare system. Many facilities nationwide have been forced to operate with little to no staff.

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Health Minister Joe Phaahla says number of deaths linked to the Nehawu strike continues to rise

Health Minister Joe Phaahla revealed last week that four deaths had directly resulted from the wage strike. However, on Monday, 13 March, Phaala claimed that the number of deaths had risen.

According to the health minister, Newhawu has reduced the deaths linked to the strike as nothing more than government propaganda, but Phaala claims this is not the case.

Phaahla said:

"When that intervention is deliberately denied because people who must provide medical care are prevented from entering health facilities, and when people die without medical help, what do you call it?"

The health minister added that if medical intervention had been available, some people would have survived, reports News24.

Briefly News reached out to Nehawu for comment on the strike's impact on ordinary South Africans in need of healthcare. The union had yet to reply at the time of publication.

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South Africans are divided by the deaths caused by the ongoing health workers' strike

While some people agree that the blame lies on Nehawu's shoulders, others have accused the government of prolonging the strike by refusing to meet the union's demands.

Below are some comments:

@NERegulatory said:

"Blame the government for failing to pay the workers... You fear them because they give you T-shirts and KFC."

@MarumoMashigo added:

"May his soul rest in peace. It is unfortunate the family blame protesting workers instead of the government. If they were doing the right thing, this protest should have not happened."

@lycotonum stated:

"I hope someone decides to sue #nehawu for the trauma that they've put people through."

Jessie Wessels grieved:

"This is so sad. Condolences to his family."

Tsoeu Mokhali commented:

"Everything going wrong in South Africa todate from protests, shutdowns, crime, unemployment, etcetera, etcetera. It is because of the ANC."

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Nicholas Sandile Sandile suggested:

"Sue the government because they don't wanna give public servants 10% wage increment."

Vo Xe Ka asked:

"Why can't they do go-slow at least?"

Pregnant woman dies due to healthcare workers' strike in KZN hospital: “No regard for life”

In a related story, Briefly News reported that a seven-month pregnant woman died after allegedly being denied medical treatment at a healthcare facility.

Thandokuhle Mlotshwa was involved in a hit-and-run accident while going to a routine hospital visit. She later died from her injuries after allegedly being denied access to the Northdale Hospital due to striking healthcare workers.

The 30-year-old victim was left in pain on a hospital stretcher while paramedics tried to seek medical attention for her.

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Source: Briefly News

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