JOHANNESBURG, March 13 (Reuters) – A South African court on Monday ordered striking state healthcare workers to end a week-long walkout that has affected services in some of the country’s major hospitals, the health department said.
National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (NEHAWU) members went on strike last week after wage talks with the government failed.
The health department said on Sunday that clinical operations were hamstrung by a low nursing and administrative support staff turnout.
The court interdict would help stabilise services at the affected hospitals, the department said on Monday.
“This is a victory for innocent and vulnerable patients who suffered the consequences of the strike,” spokesperson Foster Mohale said.
Union leaders could not be immediately reached for comment.
But the union said in a statement on Sunday that “no amount of litigation or intimidation by the government will deter us from this noble worthy cause that we have embarked on”.
The South African military it had deployed medics to help in the affected hospitals at the request of the health department.
Reporting by Tannur Anders; Editing by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo and Angus MacSwan
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