Leaders of DENOSA Student Movement in the Western Cape are currently staging a sit-in at the Western Cape Provincial Health Department Offices on 4 Dorp Street, Cape Town, demanding the employment of 130 nurses whose community service contracts ended in January and were never employed full time into various health facilities in line with the contract.
On 31January 2021, approximately 130 and young Community Service Practinioner Nurses (CSPN) completed their community service programme at various healthcare facilities of the Western Cape.
The young vibrant and enthusiastic Professional Nurses that battled COVID-19 beside their colleagues of the multidisciplinary team were released facing unemployment.
We as DENOSA Student Movement in Western Cape contacted the Department of Health prior the completion date and were informed that 109 posts were reserved for CSPN’s dependent on funds availability.
To date, only 11 posts have been filled according to our understanding while 119 newly-qualified nurses are unemployed and remain at home.
As the new year has approached and the third wave of the COVID pandemic approaching the country, the healthcare system continues to be challenged with limited resources including PPE and shortage of staff at various healthcare facilities in the midst COVID vaccine programme and training for the implementation of the administration of the vaccines to the nation.
National Department of Health urged retired nurses and students to combat the COVID 19 pandemic due to the massive staff shortages.
We as DENOSA Student Movement WC urge the Department of Health of the Western Cape to do the following:
- Absorb community service nurses in permanent positions as their counterparts of the multidisciplinary team (i.e. doctors, physiotherapists, radiographers etc.)
- Provide job security for all CSPN’s of the Western Cape province as the absorption of CSPN’s yearly into the healthcare system is poorly implemented as indicated by the number of successful nursing agency companies that are being enriched by the Department of Health.
- Department of Health bursary recipient’s contractual agreement must be implemented effectively;
- Provide decent living conditions of nursing homes and hostels. That infrastructure is in poor condition and need renovations and maintenance with the necessary amenities like launderette that these nurses can access.
We as DENOSA Student Movement Western Cape fully support the absorption of all CSPN’s and will embark on sit-ins at government offices until this matter will get the attention it deserves from the Department.