NFDA Newsletter August 2019 (2)

Click on the link below to view the August 2019 newsletter.

NEWSFLASH 13 Aug 2019

NFDA Newsletter August 2019

Click on the link below to view the August 2019 newsletter.

NEWSFLASH 8 Aug 2019

NFDA Newsletter July 2019

Click on the link below to view the July 2019 newsletter.


The strike is over!

An article from the Daily Sun:

“GAUTENG Health MEC Gwen Ramokgopa has announced that the protected work-to-rule strike by forensic pathology officers is over.
Ramokgopa told media at a briefing this afternoon that all the officers had returned to their work stations on Wednesday morning.
Ramokgopa said their teams were now hard at work to clear away backlogs in all the affected facilities.
Forensic pathology officers reported for duty in Germiston, Hillbrow, Roodepoort and Diepkloof, those most affected in Gauteng. They also reported for duty at other facilities in the province.
Ramokgopa said smaller facilities such as Sebokeng, Carletonville, Ga-Rankuwa, Bronkhorstspruit and Heidelberg did not have major backlogs.
According to the department, 188 pathologists at 11 mortuaries had been on strike.
Ramokgopa pleaded with grieving families to be patient while the department expedited the release of the bodies of their loved ones.
Pathologists were on strike for a few weeks and it has affected state mortuaries in various parts of Gauteng.
Some family members had to postpone the funerals of their loved ones due to the backlog of pending post-mortems.
According to the department the strike resulted in a backlog of more than 250 bodies.
The affected facilities have all been restored to full capacity, Ramokgopa said, and their teams would move to stabilise and mobilise the facilities.
Issues raised by the forensic pathology officers included salary scales not in line with those pertaining to their 2006 transfer from the SAPS to the Gauteng Department of Health, danger allowances and the reintroduction of debriefing sessions. Other concerns were provision of equipment, protective clothing and revised job descriptions.
She said it had been agreed that a training programme would be developed that would enable forensic pathology officers to register with a statutory body.”

NFDA Inland Chairman Mike Collinge on SABC NEWS

An independent view on the strike at the state mortuaries:


DA disgusted by backlog of bodies in Gauteng mortuaries

On Thursday, the DA in Gauteng called on premier David Makhura to intervene in a crisis that has seen bodies pile up in mortuaries.

DA Gauteng spokesman Jack Bloom said the strike was in its third week‚ despite commitments to resolve it. He blamed Gauteng health MEC Gwen Ramokgopa for mishandling the strike from the start by not getting a court order to stop it.

“Pathologists are doing the best they can with 10 military medics and eight volunteers from the National Funeral Directors Association assisting them‚ but the backlog is still about 200 bodies. Autopsies are taking more than seven days instead of one day‚ to the great distress of families who have to delay funerals‚” Bloom said in a statement.

“Unions representing the workers are being unreasonable and cruel in continuing this illegal strike in an essential service.”

According to the information we have – the strike is now over.

Strike Continues

“The Strike is still continuing and the assistance from the military is only 10 people, so the backlog is more than 200.

Its not looking too good, but I hope they settle it soon.” – Jack Bloom

Newsletter June 2017

Click on the link below to view the June 2017 Newsletter




I welcome the intervention today of the SA National Defence Force health services to help reduce the backlog at Gauteng mortuaries due to a strike by provincial forensic pathology officers.

There are about 200 post-mortems that have to be done, some of them on bodies that have been in the mortuaries for more than a week.

I am aware of at least four affected mortuaries – Diepkloof, Hillbrow, Germiston and Roodepoort.

I am concerned, however, that police have not been able to provide sufficient protection to doctors to enable them to perform the autopsies.

The Gauteng Health Department has also unreasonably refused families to employ private pathologists working with police supervision to do the autopsies, which are done in all cases of suspected unnatural death.

This strike has caused incredible anguish to families of the deceased. This includes legal action that is being contemplated by Muslim families who are religiously required to bury the deceased on the day of death.

Gauteng Premier David Makhura needs to step in to ensure that all relevant departments work together to ensure the safety of those working at the mortuaries and to resolve this distressing strike as soon as possible.

Statement by Jack Bloom MPL
DA Gauteng Shadow Health MEC