Monday 21 August 2017
Following the visit by Health MEC in Gauteng, Dr Gwen Ramokgopa, at Baragwanath Hospital yesterday which uncovered gross shortage of staff among others, the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) in Gauteng hopes the community of the province will hold the MEC to her word as she promised that the shortage will be addressed soon.
DENOSA is saying this because the issue of gross shortage of nurses in health facilities throughout the province has been so glare and our red flag over this long-standing issue has always fell on deaf ears.
“We wish this time around the promise by someone in her position is kept, because the shortage of health professionals and support staff in our facilities confronts the vulnerable patients on a daily basis,” says DENOSA Gauteng Provincial Chairperson, Simphiwe Gada.
“Our hopes that she fulfills her promise are based on the fact that shortage of staff at Baragwanath Hospital seriously compromises the quality of healthcare that patients receive at that facility. Bara may be a case in point, but the challenge is wide and affects almost every institution in the province.”
DENOSA has long raised a serious concern about the negative consequences or symptoms of the shortage of nurses, where you find that in critical sections like maternity general nurses just get allocated to work there with no prerequisite skills on midwifery. This exploitation exposes nurses to litigations and demoralization.
“Because our cries for hiring of nurses and support staff have not been heeded, we will embark on a province-wide campaign where we encourage nurses to refrain from doing work that is not within their scope of practice. They must stick to what they were trained on. Nurses have become everything in facilities. They have become clerks in the absence of clerical staff, cleaners, porters at the expense of providing comprehensive quality patient care,” adds Gada.
“Then, how will they not get frustrated when they are working under such poor conditions on a daily basis? How will they get motivated? Instead the focus of the nation is on what has become a glaring symptom of the bigger problem, and that symptom is negative and uncaring attitude. The other focus is on the increasing litigations that the Department is suffering from.”
DENOSA offers this advice one more time: for as long as the underlying problem of shortage of staff in the province is not resolved, the symptoms will always be there. It is just sad that nurses must always take the blame all the time simply because they are the face of the country’s public healthcare system.
Issued by the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) in Gauteng
For more information, contact:
Simphiwe Gada, DENOSA Gauteng Provincial Chairperson
Mobile: 072 563 1923
Facebook: DENOSA Gauteng