South Africa: Black Women Bear the Brunt of Exploitative Healthcare Sector - Oxfam Report

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Tired, overworked and underpaid. This is the grim reality of healthcare workers described in a 'sobering and depressing' report on health inequality by Oxfam. Along with a number of activists and trade unions, they've launched a campaign to lobby for improvements to the health sector and better conditions for these essential workers.

"No salary, no money, no nothing," is what Lebohang Negukhula, an agency nurse, says she will receive if she goes on maternity leave.

"We don't have any benefits, we don't have medical aid and I'm not covered by sick leave. If I get sick it means no work, no pay for me," said Negukhula, who is also a member of the Young Nurses Indaba Trade Union (YNITU)

She was speaking at the virtual launch of the Oxfam and YNITU report on health inequality, titled: The Right to Dignified Healthcare Work, a Right to Dignified Healthcare for All, on Tuesday, 30 June.

The report found that "unfair labour practices" and "poor treatment of healthcare workers" has compromised the quality of healthcare, leaving the healthcare system ill-prepared for shocks like the Covid-19 pandemic.

"This is a sobering and depressing report," lamented Laetitia Rispel, professor of Public Health at Wits University....

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