The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) Limpopo’s Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) held its meeting from 05 to 06 November 2020 at Bolivia Lodge in Polokwane where it discussed and resolved on a number of issues in nursing which affect nurses and servce delivery in the healthcare facilities around Limpopo Province.
On the effects of shortage of nurses in healthcare facilities:
The PEC reflected on the effects on shortage of nursing personnel in the hospitals and the clinics which deny community members their right to access health services and even compromising the quality care provided.
The shortage was previously covered by the powers delegated to Executive Authority in the facilities to activate Overtime where there is shortage of healthcare personnel especially on nurses whose services are required 24/7 around the clock.
On Circular 43 of 2020:
The PEC noted with serious concern that the circular is negatively changing conditions of service for nurses and contravenes Basic Conditions of Employment Act and Resolution 01 of 2007.
The Circular took powers away from the Line Managers on authorizations of overtime where there is shortage of staff.
The Hospitals were relying on nurses who avail themselves to work overtime during their off days. Since the release of Circular 43, health services are suffocating as the Department of Health is failing to fill vacant posts for nurses.
There are many nurses who went on pension, passed on and resigned from the Department of Health but still have not yet been replaced.
There is gross shortage of nurses in the Province shown by failure to implement 24 hours in the clinics, cancellation of Theater slates or cases in Mankweng, Pietersburg and other Regional Hospitals because Doctors refuse to go on theater without nurses.
On Change to working hours or Off duties for nurses:
DENOSA has noted with great concern the continuous undermining and interference of Corporate Service section on Nursing issues like duty rosters.
It has never happened in the history of Nursing where Human Resource Officials draft or write off-duties for nurses. It is for the first time in Limpopo Department of Health under the leadership of MEC Dr Phophi Ramathuba and HOD Dr T. Mhlongo where Nursing Directorate is downgraded to Personal Assistance to Deputy Director Generals and gave Humah Resource a big head to take over Nursing to the extent of writing off-duties for nurses in the hospitals and Clinics. Nurses issues will be better dealt with by nurses in the Nursing Profession.
This tendency undermines the integrity and uniqueness of the Nursing as a profession. It’s time for nurses to be given space to take Nursing profession forward to its highest standards. And part of taking the correct route in respecting nursing function within the healthcare service would be the immediate appointment of a Chief Nursing Officer in the province.
On appointment or absorption of Post-community service nurses:
PEC takes note that many nurses exited the service due to retirement, death and resignations. The posts were not filled despite the shortage we are experiencing in the institutions. There are more than 500 newly-qualified Professional Nurses who are roaming on the streets after completing their four year training by Limpopo Department of Health. Other Provinces are benefiting from graduates trained by Limpopo Department of Health while nurses are overstretched in the health facilities of the province due to severe shortage.
On training of Nurses as per SANC Regulation 171:
The PEC is concerned about delaying tactics employed by the Department of Health on implementation of Nurses training as per Regulation 171.There are many Auxiliary Nursing Assistants who have been waiting patiently to enroll for approval of New Nursing programmes from the year 2014.
Limpopo College of Nursing received accreditation to offer Diploma in Nursing, but unfortunately there is no willingness to roll out long awaited training for nurses.
On payment of Books and Monthly allowance for Nursing Students:
The PEC note with serious concern the non-payment of book allowance for bursary students. The allowance was supposed to be paid in February 2020 and affected students are still waiting patiently. The situation affects them negatively in terms of preparations for their studies.
Upon reflection on the above many challenges, the PEC mandated the Provincial Office Bearers (POBs) to secure an urgent meeting with the MEC to request her intervention as Political head before the situation gets out of hand. The MEC indicated that she is not available due to tight schedule. Failure by the MEC to meet with DENOSA will leave us with no option other than to review our stance on her and the HOD.
We demand the following:
1. Uncoditional withdrawal of Circular 43 pending consultation with Organized Labour.
2.Filling of vacant nursing positions to minimize spending on payment of overtime.
3. Corporate services must stop Interfering on Nursing issues and allow Nursing Directorate space to manage and lead nurses in the province.
4. Withdrawal of draft monsterous off duties imposed to nurses by Corporate services Section.
5. Payment of Acting allowance to all nurses acting on senior positions in line the Policy on Acting.
6. Immediate Payment of Books allowance to Bursary Students
Issued by DENOSA Limpopo
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