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Who Cares for Health Care Workers? The State of Occupational Health and Safety in Municipal Health Clinics in South Africa

Abstract: 
After the 1994 elections the African National Congress (ANC) government of South Africa committed itself to developing a District Health System that would meet the health needs of local communities and allow them to
give input into the management of their own primary health care. Almost a decade later, in 2003, the National Health Act was passed, which finally gave us an administrative framework for resolving the fragmentation,
uncertainty, and insecurity that has historically characterised the implementation, governance and financing of primary health care delivery in our country. The passing of the Act has meant the restructuring of the primary health care sector and new challenges for primary and municipal health workers, their employers and their trade unions regarding the work conditions that these workers face every day. The central question of this paper is: “Who cares for health care workers?” To answer this question, we investigated municipal health clinics to explore the attitudes, experience, culture and practices of occupational health and safety (OH&S) there. 
Author(s): 
Industrial Health Research Group and the South African Municipal Workers Union
Publication Information: 
MSP Occasional Paper No.8
Publication Date: 
2005
Publication Type: 
Occasional Paper