DENOSA not surprised by yesterday’s Health Quality Assessment results showing SA as a sick nation riddled w...

Media statement

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) views the results of the Health Quality Assessment (HQA) that were presented yesterday as nothing but a tip of the iceberg in so far as burden of chronic diseases that have engulfed South Africans, as the assessment was only performed based on only 14 medical aid schemes.

If anything, the results indicate a greater need of a preventative healthcare system in the country, underpinned by a strong primary healthcare that focuses on health education.

The results of the quality assessment indicated a very sick nation as it showed that beneficiaries of the 14 medical aid schemes only consulted a physician four times a year on average, and a specialist only once a year.  

When the results of this HQA show an ugly side of well-being for those who can afford paying for medical aid and going for check-ups, the picture is always going to be bleak for those who are not covered by medical aids.   

As far as the burden of non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and stroke, DENOSA’s concern is well-documented about the poor state of health of South Africans, the majority of whom are dependent on the very scarce resources at public health facilities.

The outpatient departments at our clinics, day hospitals and 24-hour hospitals are packed with patients who are on medication for chronic diseases, most of which could be easily preventable had people been thought the art of healthy living from an early age.

As a result, this crisis of chronic diseases among South Africans leads to other problems such as the ever-increasing severe shortage of nurses and specialists in public facilities as they look after 80% of the country’s population. This also increases the nurse-to-patient ratio, which research has proven that in an environment where a nurse-to-patient ratio is higher, the time it takes for patients to be fully recuperated and get discharged from health facilities is much longer than in an environment where there is low nurse-to-patient ratio.

For a population of 51 million to be served by around 260 000 nurses as per the database of South African Nursing Council (SANC) (this database also includes nurses who have died, retired, resigned, are unemployed, and those who have gone overseas and those that are not necessarily working as nurses but work in other departments) this means that there are more than 200 people per one nurse in South Africa. In developed countries, the figure is 100 people per one nurse and the health of people in those countries is far better than ours.

DENOSA is happy that the Health Minister, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, mentioned in his budget speech on Wednesday that government will establish a National Health Commission, which will be chaired by the Deputy President, to deal with the challenge of non-communicable diseases.

DENOSA would like to urge all South Africans to embrace a healthy living as a way to ensure their longevity. The danger of not following a healthy lifestyle is that, because there are not enough health workers, chances of people succumbing to these chronic diseases are much higher.


Issued by the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA)

For more information, contact:

Sibongiseni Delihlazo, Communications Manager

Mobile: 079 875 2663

Tel: 012 343 2315

Email: /


Facebook: DENOSA National Page


Read more
DENOSA urges to citizens to be on high alert and prevent Hepatitis ...

Media statement

Monday, 28 July 2014

As the world marks the 7th World Hepatitis Day, the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) would like to urge South Africans to go for check-ups for this viral and silent killer disease and, if it is found, to follow a safe living as it kills 1.5 million every year across the world. 

Hepatitis is inflammation of the liver caused by a virus and it can lead to life-threating liver failure and liver cancer among others. Hepatitis B, which is one of the most common infections in the world, is highly infectious, at around 50 to 100 times more infectious than HIV in cases involving needle stick injuries, which nurses are most prone to due to the nature of their work.

WHO estimates that more than 2 billion people have been infected with the Hepatitis B virus, which is transmitted through contact with the blood of or other body fluids such as saliva, semen and vaginal fluids of an infected person. 

Means to prevent the virus include use of condoms, avoiding sharing of needles, toothbrushes, razors, or nail scissors with an infected person.

DENOSA would like to urge South Africans to take these tips into consideration so they could stay healthy.


Issued by the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA)

For more information, contact:

Sibongiseni Delihlazo, Communications Manager:

Mobile: 079 875 2663

Tel: 012 343 2315.

Facebook: DENOSA National Page


Read more
DENOSA Western Cape to hold its two-day Provincial Congress at Ritz Hotel in Sea Point on Thursday and Friday...


The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) in Western Cape will be holding its two-day Provincial Congress from Thursday and Friday 24-25 July 2014 at Ritz Hotel in Sea Point at 09h00, under the theme: "Advancing Unity for Nurses"

On Thursday, DENOSA General Secretary, cde Thembeka Gwagwa, will be delivering the keynote address at the Congress. COSATU Provincial Secretary, cde Tony Ehrenreich, will be the guest speaker, as well as Director at the Nursing Directorate in the provincial Department of Health, Florence Africa. The guests will address delegate nurses on the challenges that the profession is currently faced with in the province and in the country. 

Members of the media are invited to attend the Congress and report. 

The details of the Congress are:

DATE: Thursday 24 July and Friday 25 July

VENUE: Ritz Hotel, Sea Point.
TIME: 08h30 for 09h00 
CONTACT PERSON: Ivan Saville, DENOSA Provincial Secretary

MOBILE: 082 775 7739 


Sibongiseni Delihlazo, DENOSA Communications Manager
MOBILE: 079 875 2663 

Read more
View More



From Ntandane Nyebe, a nurse in Cape Town. 

As the backbone of any healthcare system in the world, it is my honest opinion that nurses deserve proper compensation for the hard work they put in in improving the health of South Africans. After all, nurses are the proverbial Alpha and Omega. The following 10 points are the reasons.    

1. We are short staffed- one person does a work that should have been done by 4 people.

2. We have gone through formal education, we have got degrees etc, we are accountable to a nurses' board, we got to be paid decent salaries like Pharmacists and doctors- YES.

3. The health institutions do not have enough of the unskilled workers e.g. porters and cleaners- Nurses are then forced to work as unkilled workers-on top of their scope of practice, when the need arises.

4. There are many instances where doctors go & do shopping at the malls when they are on call, or simply some institutions have shortage of doctors- when an emergency situation arises- a nurse does a work that was supposed to be done by the doctor to save the client. Same case when there no social workers- nurses must run around doing what was supposed to be done by a social worker.

5. We do a risky job - I've heard of many nurses & docs who died from contagious diseases- especially trauma staff.

6. The governing party admitted in 2011 that there is a dire shortage of nurses in SA, which means nursing is a scarce skill in SA and the last time I checked professionals with scarce skills were getting paid higher salaries in SA.

7. We work under bad conditions- institutions with no proper security, lack of proper equipment etc. But we always try and do our best to improvise for the benefit of the clients.

8. Nurses who go & work overseas they don't go there just for fun or to experience different culture- they leave because they feel they are being overlooked by Government in terms of salary- meanwhile SA loses specialised nurses with experience - Government who cares about its people would try and keep nurses by raising salaries.

9. We deserve better. Our Government can afford to increase our salaries by 100%. There is money in SA- we have seen structural developments in SA & they have been built by companies who have been paid millions and billions.

10. ANC Government promised to increase salary of Nurses when they were in Mangaung in 2012/13. 

I Thank You


Read more
View More


Nursing Update

July 2014

Nursing Update is jointly published by the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Afr... More.



Curationis provides a forum for cutting-edge theories and research models related to th... More

About us

The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) in its current form was established on 5 December 1996.

The organisation was formed through political consensus after the transition to democracy and was mandated by its membership to represent them and unite the nursing profession. Prior to this, the South African Nursing Council (SANC) and the South African Nurses Association (SANA) were statutory bodies which all nurses had to join. It was also important after the transition to democracy to incorp... Read more