Frustrated nurses threaten not to vote

2019-01-30 06:00
PHOTO: lethiwe makhanyaNurses protesting outside Natalia last Friday.

PHOTO: lethiwe makhanyaNurses protesting outside Natalia last Friday.

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KWAZULU-Natal nurses under the United Nurses Forum (UNF) have threatened not to vote in the upcoming national elections in May if the Department of Health does not hire them.

The nurses marched to Natalia Building on Friday where they submitted their memorandum of demands.

Their demands are:

• Employment of more nurses to cover the staff shortage, burnout, sickness and litigations.

• Allocation of all posts to community service professional nurses into professional nurses pots.

• Back pay all nurses who completed post-basic courses.

• Stop targeting nurses for cost-cutting measures.

• More CEO nurses because they understand the ward better than doctors, who only come to the ward for a few minutes to see a patient.

• Treasurer to fund all the vacant posts.

• Findings of the nurse-patient ratio survey.

This is the fourth time within a year that nurses marched for the same reasons.

The march took place just after MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo announced that the department had hired 300 nurses around KZN on a permanent basis. Dhlomo inducted these nurses at Greys Hospital on January 10 and are employed under the Presidential Stimulus Package, he said.

Bhekithemba Gumbi of United Nurses Forum said there are about 15 000 nurses who are unemployed, but the department has about 40 000 vacant posts. “A survey that was done by the department confirms this information. There is also a study that was done which determines the nurse-patient ratio but the department does not want to release the results because they know that nurses are being overworked. We want the full report of that study,” he said.

“We are tired of being undermined by the Health Department. We do all the hard work and the people who get all the credit are doctors who only visit wards for a few seconds. We are the ones who are hated by the community because there is a staff shortage. Enough is enough.”

The department has been given seven days to respond to the demands of the employees.

KZN Health spokesperson Ncumisa Mafunda said: “The department is aware of a demonstration that was held by members of a labour union last Friday. The issues raised are known by the department and are being looked into.”

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