DENOSA hosted the health Professional Society Forum meeting at the DENOSA head office in Pretoria on Tuesday 07 May where robust discussions on nursing issues were held and about the ways to improve the working conditions of health professionals.
The society comprise of professional associations, nursing agencies and regulatory bodies. Societies that were present included ANASA, DENOSA, South African Nursing Council (SANC), Southern African HIV Clinicians Society, FPNL, SAACH, SAAHS, SASA, SASOH, SPNP, NEA, and ENSSA, NNASA, WHASA.
The meeting stressed the need to look at things with different eyes and the need to be more vocal about the challenges that health professionals face in the working place currently.
DENOSA General Secretary, Thembeka Gwagwa, said: “This was an extraordinary meeting, because extraordinary things are happening in the health sector. The extraordinary things require extraordinary people to turn things around, hence DENOSA and SAMA are embarking on Positive Practice Environment (PPE) campaign, because health professionals are taking the flak for almost all the ills that take place in our healthcare facilities.”
The issue of lack of norms and standards was highlighted as one issue that ought to be brought to the bargaining platforms so that it can be negotiated, as there are no existing norms and standards to measure against the country’s high vacancy rates.
The forum meets quarterly at the DENOSA head office in Pretoria. The objective of the forum is for nurse specialists to promote adequate, efficient and effective nursing care and to deliver quality nursing and health services to the communities that they serve; to create a collective voice for nurse specialists and to communicate relevant issues to the authorities.
Lack of recognition of a number of specialties such as stoma therapy, forensic nursing and wound care and their courses by the regulatory body as way for such to be recognized was discussed. Another issue that was discussed was disparity of salaries between those health professionals in the private sector as well as those in the public sector. Currently there are 16 specialties that are recognized by the regulatory body (South African Nursing Council).
DENOSA briefed the society about the latest developments at the bargaining council as well as developments with South African National Aids Council’s Health Sector. The society appreciated the feedback about the PPE campaign and the need to unite health professionals to ensure the standard of nursing is maintained.