Protests in NWestendangering patients - SAMA

Mark Sonderup says doctors and nurses prevented from attending to patients in hospitals and clinics

Protest action in North West Province endangering patients - SAMA

The South African Medical Association (SAMA) condemns the consequences of the current protest action in the North West Province that is affecting hospitals, staff and patients. 

"This protest action has prevented doctors and nurses from attending to patients in hospitals and clinics and drugs and medications being prevented from entering or leaving depots. The action is infringing the rights and dignity of vulnerable persons in the province, and creating a situation where lives are being endangered," says Professor Mark Sonderup, vice-chairperson of SAMA.

Reports have also surfaced of money being extorted from doctors at the gates of hospitals to attend to patients. There are also reports of healthcare workers being intimidated by these obviously criminal elements. These actions are very troubling. Legitimate protest is one thing, criminal behavior is quite another. Even with legitimate protest, we must not cause harm to those most vulnerable in our society. 

"In light of what is now happening, we demand that government steps in to conclusively resolve the matter to ensure the situation returns to normal" concludes Prof Sonderup.

Notes to Editors

About SAMA

The South African Medical Association was formally constituted on 21 May 1998 as a unification of a variety of doctors’ groups that had represented a diversity of interests. SAMA is a non-statutory, professional association for public, and private sector medical practitioners. SAMA is a voluntary membership association, existing to serve the best interests and needs of its members in any and all

Statement issued by Prof Mark Sonderup, Vice-Chairperson: SAMA, 26 April 2018