Nurses who were appointed in 2017, who had to carry out compulsory community service before they were allowed to practice independently, should be paid outstanding salaries and be absorbed into the Gauteng Department of Health, the department has resolved.
This comes after a team of senior managers were put together to address issues in a memorandum of grievances that nurses handed to the department's head, Professor Mkhululi Lukhele, last week.
"In 2019, the department appointed 678 professional nurses to serve their compulsory community service before they can practise independently and failed to pay them level-appropriate salaries for professional nurses; but paid them at students' salary levels from 1 January to 30 July 2019.
"We, therefore, unconditionally apologise for such an unacceptable treatment of nurses," the acting human resources head, Dr Sipho Senabe, said in a statement on Thursday.
As a result of staff shortages in the department, the nurses will be absorbed and be appointed in professional practice posts from January 2020.
"The Gauteng Department of Health remains committed to ensuring that staff members are working under conducive conditions and they are treated with respect and dignity.
"The human resources challenges will be resolved through professionalisation of the Human Resource for Health function to prevent recurrence of identified problems," Senabe said.
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