The Health & Other Services Personnel Trade Union of South Africa (HOSPERSA) has signed a memorandum of agreement with the National Institute for Occupational Health (NIOH) of the National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS). The agreement paves a way for collaborative efforts for both parties to address various Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) challenges experienced by health workers in the workplace. By signing this agreement, the NIOH and the Union have pledged to working together on projects that seek to improve and promote OHS for health workers in South Africa.
On 29 January 2019, the NIOH of the National Health Laboratory Service and Hospersa signed a memorandum of agreement in Centurion, Pretoria. The NIOH is a division of the National Health Laboratory Services (NHLS) which is an organ of the state and a section 3A public entity of the National Department of Health. The signed agreement paves a way for a crucial partnership for both parties to work together on research approaches, project planning, funding applications and OHS training for all workers especially in those working in the health sector. Acting Executive Director at the NIOH, Dr Zungu, said that the NIOH is pleased to have partnered with Hospersa in addressing OHS-related challenges in the Health sector and that the partnership will be of mutual benefit for both parties more especially, for health workers.
“We identified Hospersa as a key stakeholder that we can partner with in improving and promoting OHS for health workers,” said Dr Zungu. “Hospersa has been working hard in addressing the high prevalance of Tuberculosis (TB) infections amongst health workers. We saw a common cause and thus believe that our collaboration will yield great results in addressing OHS challenges experienced by health workers,” added Dr Zungu.
“We are looking forward to a great journey with the NIOH,” said Hospersa General Secretary Noel Desfontaines. “This partnership will allow us to receive expert technical support on OHS as well as assist us in fulfilling our mandate of promoting safe and healthy working conditions of our members in the health sector,” added Desfontaines.
“With this agreement, both parties have strengthened their commitment to finding real solutions in improving the working conditions of health workers in South Africa as a whole,” concluded Desfontaines.