702 Breakfast Show host Bongani Bingwa spoke to Minister of Health Dr Aaron Motsoaledi. The minister says newborn babies being placed at risk by the ongoing Nehawu strike is not acceptable.
Dr Motsoaledi says while he understands the demands made by Nehawu, no lives should be placed at risk.
He says the union is aware that he first made the call for the HOD of health to resign in March.
It's not the issues of demands, it's an issue of when you have problems and demands; why destroy the innocent people?— Aaron Motsoaledi, Health Minister
The nurses who were chased away looking after neonates (newborn babies) - neonates cannot look after themselves, they are innocent children. Now when you chase away their caretakers it's very very evil.— Aaron Motsoaledi, Health Minister
Dr Motsoaledi insists that even at the height of protests, nurses were protected and allowed to go to work, but now pinpointing who is disrupting the services has proved difficult.
For instance the biggest health center in Mahikeng, the nurses are not on strike. I was told they come in the morning to assist those on chronic medication, they treat them and run away. Those nurses say there are people who follow them home... and say we know where you stay, don't come to work.— Aaron Motsoaledi, Health Minister
The minister refuted claims that the Cuba-South Africa doctors programme will be coming to an end.
Only 60 students were being sent to Cuba every year, from there 80 students were sent. In the past five years because of a great shortage of medical training programmes in South Africa, we sent 1 000 students. That's huge. That means we increased it by tenfold within a very short period of time.— Aaron Motsoaledi, Health Minister
Listen to whether the programme will lapse for three years or not