The FF Plus in the North West is seriously concerned about the widespread protest action by the National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union (Nehawu) that started this morning at the entrances to various government hospitals in the province.
Patients are denied their right to healthcare and feel intimidated when entering hospital premises.
The protest action has caused serious disruptions in the healthcare sector in the North West.
Ambulances were turned away by hospitals and were instructed to take patients to nearby clinics, which are not equipped to handle such serious emergencies.
It is unacceptable that the right to protest is seen as superior to patients' right to healthcare and even life.
What is also alarming is the fact that the police force was not prepared for the protest action and in some cases, only arrived on the scene two hours later.
The FF Plus confirmed that notices of the intended protest action were issued beforehand.
Upon enquiry from the FF Plus, North West's MEC for Health, Mr Madoda Sambatha, also confirmed that he was aware of the planned protest action.
The already struggling public healthcare sector in the North West cannot afford any more setbacks.
The FF Plus will approach the MEC for Health as well as the provincial Police Commissioner, Lt .Gen. Sello Kwena, with two main objectives in mind.
Firstly, to ensure that healthcare workers are acting within the constraints of the law, seeing as they fall under essential services.
And secondly, to ensure that appropriate action is taken against protesters who deny people access to essential services.