Tuesday, 05 July 2022
DURBAN – Following repeated failures by the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health to honour its commitment made in May this year and hire the 80 nurses who had completed their year of community service in the province, the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) in KwaZulu-Natal is left with no other alternative but to give the department an ultimatum: hire the nurses before this week ends, or else we will meet on the streets come the following week.
Given the continued gross shortage of staff in the province as a result of non-absorption of nurses who completed their year of community service by the Department of Health, the department made a solid commitment to DENOSA on the 12th of May during the International Nurses Day to absorb the 80 outstanding post-community service nurses who had been left out of employment, despite having completed their community service.
The Department, represented by the MEC and HOD, agreed to employ the post-community service nurses on a six-month contract, with the view to also employing the COVID-19 contracted nurses permanently upon the end of their contracts.
A week later, however, the department employed only eight post-community service nurses in the Ugu District. Not a single nurse other than those was ever employed after that by the department.
After many months of following up by DENOSA with the department, the department would only give one excuse after the other – that they were working on employing them or that the motivation to employ the nurses had been taken to the Chief Financial Officer and Premier of the province. But until today, nothing tangible had come off that process.
A circular was issued after that, stopping healthcare institutions in the province from advertising posts and prioritizing the absorption of contract nurses – nothing about the absorption of post-community service nurses.
With the above promises not having materialised, DENOSA in KwaZulu-Natal resolved to give an ultimatum to the Department of Health to hire the nurses this week, or face strings of protests in healthcare facilities from the following week.
Logically, the nature of the dire shortage of nursing staff in healthcare facilities in the province would dictate that no accounting officer goes to sleep comfortably, because the shortage of nurses exposes patients to many risks with their health.
This decision by DENOSA is the last resort, and possibly the only language or sign that the government seems to be able to understand or decipher appropriately.
Issued by DENOSA In KwaZulu-Natal
For more information, contact:
Mbali Sabela, Acting Provincial Secretary.
Mobile: 071 643 2483
Sibonelo Cele, Provincial Chairperson.
Mobile: 072 554 9988
Tel: 031 305 1417