Denosa to march to nursing council over registration woes

Johannesburg - The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (Denosa) will march to the South African Nursing Council (SANC) to demand that it opens offices in all provinces after a nurse died travelling to Pretoria to pay for her nursing licence.

Denosa spokesperson Sibongiseni Delihlazo said the march is expected to take place on February 22.

He said nurses are frustrated about having to travel hundreds of kilometres to be registered.

"In the main, the fact that there is one office breeds other problems. The challenge is that for each nurse to work they must have registered with SANC."

More than 250 000 nurses are registered yearly, he said.

SANC offers two options for payment of the R590 registration fee. The first is to deposit the fee at a bank, an option he said was not efficient.

Travel expenses

"The problem is that managers in hospital don't count the receipt as payment. They want a physical licence from SANC. After paying, they post the licence and it takes ages for the licence to reach nurses. If you pay in July you may get your licence six months later."

The second option is to make the payment at the council's offices in Pretoria, which for some means hours of travel.

"They pay thousands to travel just to pay a R590 fee. They have to pay buses and some have to pay for accommodation. When they arrive they find that the system is not working and sometimes they only have one day's leave. On various occasions they stand in queues only to be told that there is no paper or the system is offline."

He told News24 that this long and drawn out process led to the death of one nurse who had travelled from KwaZulu-Natal to pay for her licence some time last year.

"If they were to have offices in each province the frustration would be halved. That nurse in KZN would still be alive. Some nurses are people with chronic illnesses.

"It's a sad situation because that nurse never made it home."

Office space offered

Denosa said the SANC system is outdated and Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi needs to intervene. Denosa has tried presenting solutions to SANC to no avail, Delihlazo added.

"We have tried to have a meeting with them, despite having close proximity we have not been successful."

Denosa claims that it offered space in its offices in each province to SANC.

"We have offered them space in our offices in provinces and it's only them who can explain why they have refused."

SANC could not be reached for comment.

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