HIV/AIDS COUNSELLORS ON STRIKE IN GAUTENG

Jack Bloom MPL

DA Gauteng Health Spokesman

HIV/Aids patients in Gauteng are not receiving proper counselling as thousands of HV/Aids counsellors have been on strike since March this year.

These counsellors are classified as “voluntary”, but they claim that the Gauteng Health Department has failed to absorb them into permanent staff despite promises made when they were first engaged.

They have worked many years as AIDS counsellors, performing a valuable service for which they have been paid a stipend of R1500 a month.

There are more than 5000 counsellors in Gauteng, many of whom are on strike over their grievances.

Their grievances need to be addressed soon as HIV/Aids patients are losing out.

A striking AIDS counsellor told me of a case where a patient is struggling for his life in Pholosong Hospital because he was wrongly given drugs for Tuberculosis instead of AIDS at the Kwathema main clinic on the east rand. This would not have happened if the AIDS counsellors were on duty.

New Health MEC Hope Papo must meet with the striking counsellors as soon as possible to settle this pressing issue.

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