DA to lay charges against Eastern Cape Health Department for occupational health violations

By Dr Wilmot James MP:

Today, Wednesday 09 December, the Democratic Alliance Shadow Health Minister Dr Wilmot James MP will lay charges against the Eastern Cape Health Department.

Dr James will be accompanied by MPL Celeste Barker, DA spokesperson for Health in the Eastern Cape and Councillor Franay van der Linde, DA health representative on the PE Metro Municipality.

The charges relate to violations of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) 85 of 1993 at three of the department’s hospitals – Livingston, Port Elizabeth Provincial and Uitenhage Provincial hospitals – for not segregating and storing medical waste according to best practice norms and standard operating procedures.

The OHSA requires an employer to create and maintain a working environment that is safe and without risk to the health of employees as far as is reasonably practicable. But, at Livingston, Port Elizabeth Provincial and Uitenhage Provincial hospitals, the improper segregation and below standard storage of medical waste poses a public health risk to employees.

At recent unannounced visits to the three hospitals, Dr James identified first-hand numerous deficiencies, which warrant the charges.

Charges to be laid here:

Date: Wednesday, 09 December 2015

Time: 11.00

Venue: Humewood Police Station, South End, Port Elizabeth.

There will be a press conference immediately after:

Time: 12.00

Venue: DA provincial head office, Havelock Street, Port Elizabeth Central.