DENOSA Limpopo condemns the act of a nurse caught selling ARVs in Polokwane...

    Media statement  
    Wednesday, 29 June 2016  
    The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) in Limpopo strongly condemns the act of a nurse who was caught red-handed selling ARVs on the streets of Polokwane yesterday. 
    We are disappointed in her conduct as it taints the good name of the profession and undermines the great contribution and hard work that many nurses put in their work every day in servicing communities despite severe shortage of nurses. 
    What remains a mystery to DENOSA, however, is how an assistant nurse got to issue medication in the first place when, in terms of regulation by the South African Nursing Council (SANC), that is the duty of a professional nurse. 
    As DENOSA we strongly advise nurses not to fall in the same trap as that will make this profession a laughing stock. DENOSA has been vocal about the severe shortage of medication in many clinics countrywide. We feel very strongly that the action of this nurse undermines this call when she commits this selfish and inconsiderate act. 
    Nurses have made a tremendous contribution in saving the lives of patients who suffer from HIV/AIDS through NIMART, and it is the cause that they are fully committed to. It’s a contribution that DENOSA is proud of as it has had positive spin-offs such as the increase in the life expectancy of South Africans. DENOSA feels this is the contribution by nurses that must be defended; and we trust that the justice system will play its part. 
    DENOSA assures the committed nurses out there that their contribution is still valuable, and they must continue to serve South Africans with diligence.   
    Issued by the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) Limpopo
    For more information, contact: 
    Cornwell Khoza, DENOSA Acting Provincial Secretary
    Mobile: 082 776 0971 
    Tel: 015 297 5033 

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    DENOSA highlights key points in its submission to NHI White Paper...

    Press release 
    Tuesday, 07 June 2016   
    The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) has highlighted some key points in its submission to the White Paper on NHI. DENOSA’s full submission can be found by clicking here.
    The need to employ more health professionals at Community Health Centres (CHCs), reopening of previously closed nursing colleges, and inclusion of Essential Equipment list for facilities as well as the need for the Office of Health Standards Compliance (OHSC) to work with provincial national core standard teams to ensure compliance of health facilities with the set targets are some of the areas that DENOSA highlighted in its submission.   
    DENOSA remains steadfast in its position that National Health Insurance (NHI) is a game-changer in the country’s health, and that it must be supported by all those who wish for equal access to quality healthcare for all South Africans, regardless of their socio-economic status. Our proposals is the inclusion all other services as part of mobile services and secured and well-capacitated 24 hour services especially dispensing of medication and pathology (NHLS).
    Our on-going concern, especially at primary healthcare level like in the country’s CHCs, is that the shortage of health professionals like nurses needs to be addressed through a quick turn-around plan so that, as first entry points for patients, they are more efficient and responsive to the needs of patients. DENOSA recommends strongly that nurses who will be leading the Primary Health Care Re-engineering teams should be supported extensively within the relevant prescripts of the law. These allocations to the municipality ward based teams should be done without compromising their conditions of service, safety and scope of practice.
    On the urgent need to employ nurses in facilities, DENOSA is concerned that provinces such as Free State have not been able employ community service nurses despite this plan to improve the country’s healthcare. As a result, nurses are sitting at home doing nothing when they are greatly needed whereas CHCs suffer severe shortages and overcrowding. 
    The urgent need to employ nurses is also equal to the need to review Occupation Specific Dispensation (OSD) so that nurses are paid according to experience and specialty, and that this mechanism will retain more nurses within the NHI-funded universally accessible health system. Most nurses are leaving the profession for either overseas or other areas besides practicing nursing, because OSD was not reviewed in its fifth year in 2012 as it was agreed.  
    Among our inputs to the White Paper, we propose that full-time positions represented by PHC nurses and managers be made available as part of the teams establishing NHI work streams.   
    On the management of foreign nationals like asylum seekers, refugees and illegal immigrants, DENOSA need more clarity on the responsibility of a nurse when an illegal immigrant arrives in need of health service but is not registered, and we proposed that health centres be opened at the points of care to provide to non-registered illegal immigrants and then be linked to relevant officials thereafter, without exposing nurses to unnecessary threats and conflicts with WHO decree that every person has a right to life and healthcare.     
    As part of trying to change the country’s healthcare system from a curative one to a more preventative one through NHI, DENOSA also proposes that wellness centres and programmes be expanded to included tax rebates and discount on food items as a way to promote healthy living among South Africans. 
    Issued by the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA)
    For more information, contact:
    Modise Letsatsi, DENOSA 1st Deputy President
    Mobile: 063 253 0311
    Thoko Kgongwana, DENOSA Professional Institute (DPI) 
    Mobile: 083 282 4520 
    Facebook: DENOSA National Page 
    Twitter: @DENOSAORG

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    DENOSA Gauteng disturbed by burning of Phenduka Clinic in Ekurhuleni...

    Press release
    Thursday, 02 June 2016
    The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) Gauteng is disgusted and angered by the burning of the Phenduka Clinic in Ekurhuleni yesterday. We want to condemn and warn residents over this barbaric act as it exposes the nurses and all other healthcare practitioners to unnecessary risk. The burning of this clinic comes after the murder of a nurse in Tembisa whilst on her way back from work on the 25 May 2016. DENOSA provincial leadership in Gauteng will visit the hospital in the afternoon tomorrow (13h00). 
    DENOSA has just emerged from a Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) meeting over the last three days and that meeting has condemned all these violent acts against nurses and all health workers. DENOSA will be embarking on a programme to deal with these barbaric acts. We want to warn the public, Minister of Health and the thugs not to force health workers to carry fire arms or hire bodyguards at work in order to defend themselves as this NEW tendency of attacking nurses is escalating.
    DENOSA Gauteng will be engaging with communities, the police in the province and the Gauteng department of health with a view to tackle this safety issue and also present a security plan to protect health workers. We are tired of recycled press statements condemning these attacks while nurses continue to become death statistics. The time for confronting this matter head on is Now!
    Issued by the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) Gauteng 
    For more information, contact: 
    Simphiwe Gada, DENOSA Gauteng Provincial Chairperson 
    Mobile: 079 501 4869

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    National changes in nursing training: South African perspectives 2015...

    Dr. Respect Mondli Miya,(D.Lit et Phil)

    Senior Lecturer: Psychiatry at Durban University of Technology, Department of Nursing Science


    Nursing is a career of love rooted in rich and fertile soil governed by caring ideologies and philosophies. Individuals within the profession have strong and inexplicable desires to serve and preserve humanity at all cost. The nursing profession drives the health care system and is forever in the forefront of preventing, promoting and management of various diseases.  Nurses have always been there and have survived trials and tribulations. Nursing demands not only the brain for cognitive purposes but a humble heart, selflessness in daily duty execution. An individual without passion for the sick will never survive a minute of nursing’s demanding tasks.

    Nursing novices are professionally socialized and groomed on their first day of training. Noble traditions of nursing are gradually unpacked and monitored up to graduation to enhance relevance and dignity of nursing profession. Nursing demands the utmost respect for humanity even after death itself. Most professions have minimum set of working hours yet nursing philosophy calls and promotes dedication beyond duty. Nursing is a way of living not just mere qualification written on papers but lived and experienced charisma. 

    Historically, nursing was viewed as a religious vocation and was predominantly religious in nature which explains chapels, and meditation designated facilities utilized for prayers before commencing daily duties in old hospitals. Nursing training in South Africa before 1976 was hospital-based hence the notion of viewing nursing as a “hands-on” career has been accepted nationally and acknowledged by most prolific nursing scholars who remain sceptical to have nursing pitched at a degree level and offered in higher training of education in South Africa.   

    Such training exposed and subjected nurses to poor recognition as a career.  Nurses were abused and viewed as medical officers’ hand maids who were good for nothing but to offer a bed pan, bathing the sick, and carry orders as prescribed without being objective. The training at that time was strict and limiting, even the scope of practice was limited and nobody could imagine a degree in nursing or university based nursing teaching and learning. Hospitals mostly trained nurses in general nursing and later midwifery.

    Around 1987, nursing in South Africa was gradually introduced in tertiary education system and scope of practice and curriculum were amended. Nursing graduates were introduced to a 4-year degree obtaining general, psychiatry, midwifery and community health nursing. That made older nurses to feel bitter and never fully accepted university graduates as satisfactorily trained. Even medical officers were threatened and witness role change from nurses as hand maids into fully recognized members of the multidisciplinary health team with independent roles and functionality. These changes failed to bridge the gap of scope of practice and remuneration packages. Even to this date, the university and hospital trained nurses earn the same salary and follow same stream of training regulated by the same nursing Act 50 of 1978 as amended with specification stipulated in Regulation 425 (R.425).

    The nursing act 33 of 2005 introduced community service of one year post- training for both hospital- and university-trained individuals. Errors still exist within the nursing education such as same recognition of a hospital and university trained graduate have similar scope of practice, universities are allowed to implement R425 differently. For example, some South African universities train students for six months in midwifery while others dedicate two full years for midwifery and three years for community health nursing which is offered for six months in colleges and some universities. The problem in South Africa is that there is one R.425 and implemented differently from one university to the other.

    The current health ministry is proposing nursing training restructurization. In the proposal dated 23 July 2015, it recommends reintroduction of the old nursing training system with a hope of extending the nursing training duration and to phase out the R.425 of Act 50 (1978). The current proposal overlooks scope of practice and remuneration packages of such graduates irrespective of their qualification which is an error not even Occupational Specific Dispensation (OSD) could resolve in 2007. OSD failed to address issues of salaries in the nursing fraternity; an obvious error is that a nursing lecturer is graded as a nursing specialist.

    The unresolved question here is: Who teaches the other? And why do they earn same salary if the other is a teacher? Up to the very same date, the public health system continues to fail to distinguish university graduates from hospital nursing graduates yet continues to differentiate auxiliary social worker from a University graduate Social Worker, and experienced Medical Officer from a Master of Medicine graduate. Why not with nursing in South Africa? 

    The proposed training changes are as follows: general nursing and midwifery be done in a college over a period of four years without indicating whether that shall be Bachelor of nursing offered in a college which can never materialize as colleges do not offer degrees but universities do. If agreed upon, this will mean degrading the dignity of nursing as a profession over medicine which continues to be offered in the university without interruptions.

    According to the proposed plan, nursing training is extended to 9 years (four year of midwifery and general, 18 months of psychiatry and one year of community health) which is unnecessary waste of time for an undergraduate qualification yet medicines years of training have been reduced to 5 years (MBCHB).


    There is absolutely no need for such drastic changes in the nursing education.  It is alarming to witness MBCHB years of training have been reduced to five years and get paid a satisfactory remuneration package compared to Bachelor of Nursing graduates with stagnant remuneration. The introduction of Masters Degree in Medicines in South Africa is preparing sound clinical researchers and such projects (thesis and dissertations) are evaluated by nursing professors who in turn receive less recognition and degrading salaries compared to MMed graduates.

    The South African health system requires the following:

    1.     Strong and vocal task team of nursing professors who shall preserve the image and dignity of nursing as a profession and strongly oppose plans to change nursing training.

    2.     No college shall be allowed to offer a bachelor of nursing, strictly universities only.

    3.     Salary packages to be reviewed and sort clear distinction of a university graduate over a hospital trained graduate.

    4.     Revised scope of practice, degree holders be given more opportunity to execute complex clinical procedures and be given better remuneration packages.

    5.     Chief Nursing Officer to be more vocal and avoid external influences to disorganise nursing training.

    6.     Hospitals to create portfolios and acceptable remuneration packages for all nursing qualifications from a diploma to PHD level.

    7.     All South African universities to adopt and implement similar training structure  that is two years of midwifery, two years of psychiatry and two years of community health nursing

    8.     Develop a Nursing Ministry by nurses with nurses and for nurses.

    9.     MBCHB degree be afforded same status as B.Cur degree thereafter if need be.

    10.  South African nursing council to be headed by prolific PHD holders and nursing qualifications be regulated and registered up to PHD level.

    11.  Any qualification obtained outside university be regarded as either associate professional nurse and associated medical office until related exam has been endorsed by the regulating body.

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    We are professionals, and let us fight to be recognised as such… 
    Vuyolwethu Mashamayite - 20150728_073623
    By Vuyolwethu Mashamaite 
    Ever since I joined nursing in 2005 I have heard nurses say nursing is a ‘calling’ and it's not about money. I couldn't understand why they said so and I still don't.   
    I believe that everyone is called by God to be in the profession or job they are doing, unless nurses consider themselves in the same umbrella as ‘Sangomas’ and ‘Preachers’. Those are the people who will leave their profession or jobs and focus on their calling or do both, regardless of whether they are paid or not. 
    Perhaps this could be the reason why nurses are under-paid and left to work in extreme unfavourablecircumstances ...because it’s a "Calling".
    Don't get me wrong; I have passion and great respect for human life as a nurse. But I cannot keep quiet. Nurses are the most abused professionals by the employer because they consider themselves "called" instead of being employed professionals.
    Nurses you are jack of all trades doing everyone's jobs from a cleaner to a doctor but come pay day you are the ones who cry the most because you are underpaid while doing everyone's jobs. I guess it's the consequences of having been “called" instead of being professional.
    We feel so comfortable working out of our scope of practice to an extent that we run a risk of performing tasks that we are not equipped to do. When told it's not your scope of practice you tell us of how long you've been doing this and you didn't kill anyone. But the South African Nursing Counci (SANC) is out there nailing nurses and not considering your "calling" but rather your profession and scope of practice.
    What hurts the most is the fact that you studied for four years and someone from another discipline who studied the same years is treated and paid better than you. I guess they are professionals and you are in a "calling". 
    Nurses, let's STOP hiding behind "CALLING" and start taking our profession seriously. If you don't do it, no one will do it for you. Like it or not we are professionals and let us fight to be recognised as such. 
    Vuyolwethu is a nurse based in Kimberley, Northern Cape   

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    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


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    Nursing Update

    January 2016

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    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