Trade union Solidarity will next week approach to the Labour Court after a doctor’s application for leave was declined and she was forced to continue to see more patients.
Dr Megan Martin had asked for leave after she had treated a patient at the Levai Mbatha Community Health Centre who showed symptoms of the coronavirus.
The union said it was taking the case to court after the health centre allegedly failed to give an undertaking that Martin would be placed on leave, pending the test results of the patient, by 10:00 on Friday, in response to a letter of demand.
“Health practitioners will play a decisive role in the fight against Covid-19. We have to protect them so they can protect us. In this case, we are not only acting on behalf of health professionals, but also on behalf of South Africans in general,” Solidarity’s chief executive, Dr Dirk Hermann, said on Friday.
“Solidarity expects an avalanche of legal cases arising from Covid-19 because of the legal uncertainty that prevails.”
The union said it was any institution’s legal obligation to ensure the safety of its employees, and to adhere to the protocols required with regard to Covid-19.
“As Solidarity’s demand was not met, we will bring an urgent application to ensure her safety and that of her patients,” the union’s head of labour law services, Anton van der Bijl, said.
Gauteng health department spokesperson Kwara Kekana said the department would be able to respond only if and when a summons is served.