The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (Denosa) has accused Netcare of failing to protect staff and patients at the St Augustine’s Hospital in Durban.
Four of the six patients who died due to COVID-19 in KwaZulu-Natal were treated at the hospital.
Eleven nurses and six doctors – who work at the hospital – have also tested positive for coronavirus.
Netcare insisted that all its workers at the hospital had been given appropriate personal protective equipment and had not been expected to work in an unsafe environment.
Denosa’s KZN secretary Mandla Shabangu has issued a scathing attack against Netcare, accusing the health group of prioritising profit over workers and patients.
“There were negative attitudes toward the issue of providing PPEs to healthcare workers, especially those we call frontliners.”
Shabangu said Netcare had further endangered the lives of health workers at the institution by failing to ensure that all staff were tested for COVID-19 and knew their status.
He said the union wanted the provincial health department to intervene.
“We are urging the Department of Health to intervene because we want those tests to be revealed to those nurses who were tested so they know how to manage the situation moving forward. We’re scared that this conduct is going to lead to the spread of the virus.”
However, a Netcare statement sent to Eyewitness News states that the company provided more protection when compared to what was recommended by the WHO and the NICD.
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Source – EWN