The strike by emergency care practitioners and ambulance drivers scheduled to start today has been averted.
Initially, workers have indicated going on strike over the non-payment of overtime claims from October last year to January 2023.
Otjozondjupa Regional Health Director, Gerbardo Timotheus explained the delay in processing overtime claims is because of no authorizations yet given by the line Ministry.
"They feel that they are not being taken care of but the fact of the matter is not only the ambulance drivers, who were not paid their overtime. Cleaners, radiographers and many others were also not paid. This is because we did not have authorization. We are requesting authorization to pay these categories twice a year. It seems like funds were not sufficient and that is why authorizations could not be granted.
However, according to Timotheus, these outstanding payments are expected to be processed by mid-month.
Despite the non-payment hiccup, Timotheus said no major incidents were reported of state patients being affected by lack of services.
He used the opportunity to call on the line Ministry to change its authorization policy to 12 months and put up fixed overtime for those in emergency care and medical staff.