Monday, 15 July 2013
The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) National Executive Committee (NEC) held its scheduled three-day meeting over the weekend, which started on Friday the 12th of July 2013 until yesterday the 14th of July where it deliberated on a number of issues pertinent to the nursing profession and looked at the following:
On the father of the nation, tata Mandela:
The NEC led a group of nurses to Medi clinic Heart hospital in Pretoria, where the father of the nation, tata Madiba, is admitted, to wish him a great improvement in his condition. The NEC thanks all the medical workers and fellow colleagues who are looking after Madiba at the facility 24 hours a day and assures South Africa that Madiba is in capable hands.
On political environment:
The NEC has expressed its concern about the on-going state of affairs within the leadership of the federation COSATU, and how this deters the progress in implementing the federation’s programmes.
The NEC calls for the facilitation process to be speeded up so that energies can be channeled towards attaining the core business of the federation, which is to implement resolutions of COSATU. Continuing to improving working conditions for workers is realistic only under a united and strong leadership collective of the federation.
The NEC welcomes the latest cabinet reshuffle overall, including the appointment of cde Connie September to the position of Human Settlements. The NEC also welcomes the appointment of former Deputy President of the country, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, as United Nation’s head of a unit on women.
DENOSA particularly congratulates its very own General Secretary, cde Thembeka Gwagwa, for being selected as the recipient of the 2013 Mary Tolle Wright Award for Excellence in Leadership, which will be presented to cde Gwagwa at the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing’s International 42nd Biennial Convention, which takes place from 16-20 November in Indianapolis in the US.
These appointments are testimony to the country’s women and Africa taking its rightful position in global politics.
On Service Charter and nursing staff levels:
The NEC notes and welcomes the Service Charter adopted by the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA). We see the charter as something that will go a long way in cementing our Positive Practice Environment (PPE) campaign, as it broadens the focus of the campaign beyond the borders of the Department of Health. The NEC hopes these two departments will work together in the realisation of a positive practice environment for both those who are the recipients of the public service as well as those who render the service, in our case the patients and health workers.
However, the NEC notes with concern the movement of nurses from being employed and in the payroll of one province to work in another province. This is what is in the Department of Public Service and Administration’s Public Management and Administration Bill, which is currently before Parliament. In provinces like Western Cape, the shifting of nurses around to other provinces is currently being considered, while some have already implemented this shifting. For example, there are nurses who are under the payroll of the North West’s Brits hospital, but are working at Odi hospital, which is under Gauteng. These are all in line with what the Bill proposes, and yet implementation of this bill is already being witnessed before it is signed as a law.
The NEC notes with concern the perception that is being created that the Western Cape is oversaturated nurses, as a reason to shift nurses to Northern Cape. This is because there are no staffing norms in the country currently, which makes the NEC to wonder as to what is the basis of a decision to move nurses to other provinces. This is because there is not enough knowledge on the exact number of nurses in the country.
The NEC also notes with grave concern the trend in the Western Cape of replacing Enrolled Nurse Assistants with home-based carers, which compromises the quality of the health service rendered to patients, because the training of home-based carers focuses on the primary healthcare.
In this regard, DENOSA will work with Wits’ School of Public Health on the research on the state of Nursing (RESON) in South Africa, which explored the state of nursing policies, practice and management in South Africa.
On funding nursing education in the country:
The NEC also calls for uniformity in how nursing education is funded across provinces. For example, a student nurse in one province would get R500 stipend, and yet in another province the same student would get R1500 monthly stipend. The NEC noted that such disparities are a cause for concern.
The NEC noted with concern that, despite the decisions that were taken at the 2011 Nursing Summit as well as the recommendations of the Ministerial Task Team, the nursing profession is still faced with the challenges that could have otherwise been resolved had the country had a Chief Nursing Officer.
The fact that there are no clear and functional nursing directorates at both national and provincial levels is the main source of these challenges which remain unresolved. In one province, it is a norm for nursing issues to fall under primary health directorate. The NEC calls for the appointment of chief nursing officers at provincial level, as their absence gives the impression that nursing issues at both national and provincial levels are not essential.
On nurses working in pharmacies in depots:
The NEC has noted that there are nurses employed to work in pharmacies in depots. However, it has been noted that those nurses are isolated and need support. DENOSA will compile a list of these nurses countrywide who work in depots and support them in every way possible.
The organisation is working with different stakeholders to ensure that nurses working at these depots are remunerated adequately and in line with their level of education and qualifications. The presence of nurses at depots leads to ordering of adequate equipment for health facilities, as previous experience shows that the supply of equipment to facilities, without the presence of nurses, often leads to inadequate equipment such as inappropriate sizes of needles etc. DENOSA endorses this approach as the good move which will have far positive spin-offs that may potentially resolve the disarray currently experienced in the country’s depots.
Issued by Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA)
For more information, contact:
Sibongiseni Delihlazo, Communications Manager, DENOSA
Mobile: 079 875 2663
Tel: 012 343 2315
Facebook: DENOSA National Page