Tuesday, 17 October 2017
The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) in North West is calling on the provincial Department of Health to fast-track the refurbishment of the Tshunyane Clinic in Vryhof outside Mahikeng before many villages wake up one morning to no health facility to serve them.
The recent visit by Sowetan, which revealed how patients’ confidential medical information is stored in a make-shift shack due to lack of space and medication stock out is rife, should be enough proof that action from the Department is required now.
That village clinic, just like many clinics in the villages, is not coping and the dilapidated infrastructure exposes community members’ confidential information and privacy to all.
More concerning to DENOSA is the task-shifting that occurs at the facility and many other clinics where, because of severe shortage of nurses, nurses with no midwifery training are made to deliver babies. This exposes both nurses and patients to various dangers. Nurses will be expelled because they operate beyond their scope of practice, which is a punishable offence by the South African Nursing Council (SANC) as a regulatory body for nursing in South Africa. That they have not seen and prevent this trend is because their offices are only in Pretoria. They will only punish a nurse when something wrong happens to patients while the need to address shortage first is urgent.
For patients, this means exposure to a compromised care, which is something that community organisations must always look out against. The shortage of health professionals in health facilities around their area simply means compromised care for the same community members in their most vulnerable state.
“DENOSA urges all nurses in all facilities not to do work that they are not trained to do, as that will put them in more danger than the good they are intending,” says DENOSA Provincial Secretary in North West, Thabiso Mokgosi.
“DENOSA has had to defend many nurses who had acted outside their scope of practice at the South African Nursing Council’s disciplinary cases, and those cases are not easily winnable regardless of the shortage of nurses in their facilities. Some nurses get removed from the nurses roll and sit at home.”
In some clinics in the remote areas, community service nurses (trainee nurses) or assistant nurses head up clinics because of shortage.
The organisation will engage with the Department of Labour to do urgent visit and evaluation of the facility, and take proper action in line with the provisions of the relevant legislation.
Issued by the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) in North West
For more information, contact:
Thabiso Mokgosi, DENOSA Provincial Secretary
Mobile: 072 559 0768
Tel: 018 392 1303