Friday, 01 December 2017
The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) in Limpopo held its last meeting of the year at Bolivia Lodge in Polokwane from 23-24 November 2017 and resolved on health, nurse-related and political challenges in the province.
On the attacks at Health facilities by thugs in the province
The PEC noted with great concern the attack of health facilities in the Province. The security guards and nurses in Health centres, clinics and nursing campuses feel unsafe following the recent attacks by thugs in Vhembe, Mopani, Sekhukhune and Capricorn. The thugs when they enter the clinics they pretend or disguise as if they are bringing a sick person. They disarm compromised security guards and gained entry to rob nurses their personal belongings. It is as a result of these incidents that nurses feel their safety is tested and challenged. Failure of the Department of health to implement PHC 24 hours Policy is the reason why we find ourselves in this situation. The Policy is clear in terms of clustering of clinics to render 24 hours service, expected number of nurses on duty, material resources, infrastructure and security. In a number of clinics nurses are reluctant to render services during the night as their security is not guaranteed which compromises community access to quality health care services especially during the night. Failure of the department to provide resources causes tension with the communities they serve as they demand health services for 24 hours. The recent closure of Makhuva clinic by the community is just but one example. The communities do not understand why their right to health services is compromised. PEC resolved to meet the MEC on Monday 27 November 2017 to come with amicable solution to this challenge.
Filling of vacant posts
PEC also noted with great concern that austerity measures make it difficult for the Department of Health to appoint nurses in Limpopo province. Nurses who resigned, died, or retired were never replaced and this adds a burden to nurses who are already burnt out because of work overload as a result of gross shortage of nurses in hospitals and clinics in the province. For the past three years the Department of health could not replace nurses who passed on, retired or resigned from the public service. Most of the facilities are understaffed which makes it difficult for nurses to render quality nursing care. When there are omissions, nurses are blamed. PEC resolved to escalate this challenge to the Premier through COSATU as we cannot continue to keep quiet when the health system fail to meet the communities’ health needs in Limpopo. If the situation does not improve in 2018 DENOSA will have no option but to mobilize nurses and communities to march to the Department of health to demand resources to meet the health needs of the communities.
On Dilapidated Infrastructure
The PEC also noted the conditions under which students of Limpopo College of Nursing campuses clinic and hospital nurses are subjected to in terms residential areas which are inhabitable. Most of the clinics, hospitals and staff residence are poorly maintained. The safety of our clients and health care providers are at stake as others are health hazards.
On the Implementation of NHI
PEC noted with grave concern that DENOSA is not involved nor updated on the progress of NHI implementation in the Province. Vhembe is the NHI pilot District but surprisingly no visible development different from other District observed. PEC resolved that we should demand recognition and progress updates in as far as developments in NHI implementation is concerned.
On payment of pay progression and Performance bonuses
PEC observed the Department of health’s failure to pay progression as per commitment made during Manlab meeting on 24 October 2017. Nurses waited patiently for 3% pay progression payment from July 2018 in vain. We are disappointed that at this stage the Department of health did not commit to pay performance bonuses which lowers the moral of the nurses who are working hard.
On translation of nurses who completed post basic courses
We are concerned about the delay in translation of nurses who completed post basic courses. The backlog dates back in 2015, the delay demoralizes the nurses who are committed to improve their knowledge and skills.
On Marilyn Lahana Caring Award
PEC congratulated Professional nurse Noko Ngoepe from Medi-Clinic Limpopo for making it as Marylyn Lahana Caring Award nominee for 2017. He is the best nurse who will represent Limpopo in competing for National Marilyn Lahana Caring Award, in the ceremony that will be held in December 2017. PEC wished him well to be a National winner and make Limpopo proud.
On 16 Days activism against Gender Based Violence
DENOSA Limpopo will join forces with other stake holders in the campaigns against the abuse of Women and Children. PEC Limpopo condemns any form of abuse directed to women and children who are vulnerable groups.
On World AIDS Day celebration
DENOSA members will go all out in making HIV/AIDS and Sexually Transmitted infections prevention awareness to communities in all 5 Districts.
Meeting with the office of the MEC of health
PEC meeting resolved to meet the MEC of health on Monday 27 November 2017 at 10h00 to address challenges affecting the nursing fraternity which include Delay in the implementation of PHC 24 Hours Policy, Security in health facilities, filing of vacant nursing posts, dilapidated infrastructure, Implementation of NHI, Payment of 3% pay progression and translation of nurses who completed post basic courses. A meeting was held as planned and the Department committed to resolve the challenges and invited DENOSA to be part Security meeting scheduled to take place on the 30th. The Department gave an undertaking to pay nurses 3% pay progression on 11 November 2017. For NHI the Department committed to involve DENOSA in the task team and to provide updates on the progress in the NHI pilot Vhembe District. The meeting resolved to constantly engage to amicably resolve challenges confronting the nursing fraternity amicably. The meeting resolved to establish a team that will visit facilities for maintenance of infrastructure, plumbing and electrical work. The meeting noted the need for the Department of health to train Shop stewards and Managers on Labour relations to promote harmony between labour and the employer.
PEC resolved as follows:
- Reaffirmed that DENOSA must work closely with SANCO to revive street committees as part of strengthening the civic movement.
- Workers must actively participate in structures and leadership positions of the party.
- Engage SANCO to ensure that it regains its hegemony as a progressive civic movement as part of alliance.
- Assist SANCO with health education talks about the dangers of drugs and alcohol abuse in communities.
On the decision to support Cde Cyril Ramaphosa to become the president of the ANC
- The PEC reaffirmed Comrade Cyril Ramaphosa as the preferred candidate to stand for the position of president in the forthcoming ANC 54th National Conference. We worked and we will continue to work on the ground and with the ANC delegates to ensure that Cde Cyril Ramaphosa is finally elected as the next ANC president.
- DENOSA must use every available platform to communicate the decision of COSATU that Cde Cyril Ramaphosa succeeds President Jacob Zuma during the ANC December National Conference.
PEC congratulated Zimbabwe for the smooth transition without bloodshed and wished that the change in that country can bring political, economic and social stability. It will be appreciated if the Health care system can be prioritized to meet the health needs of Zimbabwean citizens.
Issued by DENOSA Limpopo
For more information, contact DENOSA Provincial Secretary, Sipho Khoza
Mobile: 072 576 4979
Or DENOSA Provincial Chairperson, Alfred Makoana
Mobile: 072578 2753/0827206111
Provincial Organiser, Jacob Molepo