CARRYING placards saying “Dhlomo must fall”, KwaZulu-Natal nurses marched to the Natalia building from Alexandra Park last Thursday where they submitted their memorandum of demands.
THE NURSES DEMANDED THE FOLLOWING
• More nurses must be hired by the Department of Health.
• Withdrawal of the new policy demanding nurses pay restoration fees as it was not explained what the money is used for.
• South African Nursing Council (SANC) fees must not increase until nurses are informed what it is for.
• SANC must give accreditation to Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Colleges so that nurses can also benefit from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (Nsfas).
The nurses accused Department of Health MEC Dr Sbongiseni Dhlomo for neglecting their demands and the problems they face on a daily basis at work. They have vowed to engage into a strike if their demands are not met.
Bheki Gumbi from the Nurses Forum in KwaZulu-Natal said they want KwaZulu-Natal Premier Willies Mchunu to set up a meeting with them (the nurses) to discuss a way forward on how he is going to deal with Dhlomo.
“The department does not want to hire nurses although it knows that we are short staffed. Three nurses are forced to take care of 50 patients in a ward because there are no nurses to work in hospitals.
“We can not even go and further our studies because the Department of Health asks us who is going to work if we take leave.
“We heard that there is research that was done which reveals that there are 46 000 vacancies in the department for nurses, but the department still does not want to hire them. Why?” he asked.
Gumbi said they have seen that Dhlomo is against the nurses and that is why they want him out. He said Dhlomo always portrays them as bad people in the public while they are doing the best for his department.
“If they do not remove Dhlomo as the MEC we will go and sit at parliament until he is fired. We are giving the department one month to respond to our demands or we will engage in a protest. They must remember that if we engage in a protest people in hospitals will die. After a month we will come back to demand our answers and we will not leave until we have received them,” he said.
The nurses also threatened to expose everything that is happening within the department .
Head of department Dr Musa Gumede accepted the memorandum and promised that the department will look into the demands and respond.
The department does not want to hire nurses although it knows that we are short staffed. Three nurses are forced to take care of 50
patients in a ward because there are no nurses to work
in hospitals. We can not
even go and further our
studies because the Department of Health asks us
who is going to work if we take leave.