KZN nurses get R14m home

2011-02-08 15:34
Durban - Nurses from Nkandla Hospital will live in a newly-built nurses' home worth R14m, the KwaZulu-Natal department of health said on Tuesday.

"The department has placed greater emphasis on retaining nursing staff by providing accommodation. The stresses of the job can be compounded by poor accommodation," KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo said in a statement.

He said the purpose of the nurses' home was to ensure that nurses did not leave the hospital to seek better employment in other areas because of lack of accommodation.

"The hospital is in a rural area. People leave and find areas more hospitable. They seek hospitals near cities and Nkandla Hospital faces a disadvantage by producing nurses for other hospitals," said Dhlomo.

Nkandla Hospital was also a training school for auxiliary nurses with 228 nurses passing per intake.

"These high numbers of staff nurses training resulted in a strike 1995 where nurses and students demanded accommodation.

"Following the strike and high disease burden in the district, the department decided to build a new nurses' home at the cost of around R14m," he said.

The nurses' home would be opened on Friday.

On the same day, the R8,5m Gateway Clinic, in Nkandla, would be officially opened.

"The hospital has an outpatient headcount of 800 people per month," said Dhlomo.

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