DENOSA in KwaZulu-Natal is dismayed by the announcement of re- opening the two institutions that is St Augustine’s and Kingsway by the Premier and MEC as from today Monday the 11th of May.
DENOSA views this decision as premature since there is no transparency as to what caused the outbreak of infections in both these institutions.
The reason for closing these institutions was to conduct investigations so as to determine the cause of so many infections with the view to prevent it from re-happening.
It is worrying that to date organised labour as one of the stakeholders have not been given the outcome of the investigation so that they can reassure their members that the institutions are now safe for them to come back to.
DENOSA is concerned because this means that nurses and other essential service employees may still be at risk if the cause of these outbreaks has not been identified and attended to.
What is more concerning is the fact that the MEC alluded in media briefing that investigation is still going on which brings a question of how did the department arrive at the decision to re-open these institutions.
DENOSA calls for the department to provide investigative report as well as recommendations and also to indicate how they arrived at the decision to re- open these institutions and also take us into confidence as to what plans they have to prevent it from happening again.
Unless the report is shared, DENOSA will instruct its members not to return on duty until their safety is guaranteed.
DENOSA is still concerned about the safety of its members since the investigation has not been finalised.
DENOSA calls for the department to come up with stricter ways of monitoring these institutions to ensure that incidence like this is avoided in future.
DENOSA further calls that all staff be provided with adequate PPE and 2 cloth masks each to protect them while travelling from home to work, since it is now compulsory to wear them.
We take this opportunity to warn Netcare not to punish our members because of these developments and make them bank hours because that action is equivalent to unfair labour practice since it was not their fault the institution had to close so no staff must be made to pay back those hours.
DENOSA will be happy if all health care workers can be provided with continuous counselling and be screened and tested for early diagnosis and prompt treatment.
DENOSA takes this opportunity to remind its members to always observe principles of infection prevention and control in terms of hand hygiene, doffing and donning to ensure their safety.
DENOSA calls for provision of hand sprays to all healthcare providers to use inbetween patients to minimise cross-infection.
DENOSA further calls for Netcare to consider relieving vulnerable employees, those with chronic conditions pregnant and old employees to delay coming to work to protect them since they are high risk of contracting the virus until the outbreak is contained, in an event this is not possible Netcare to take extra precautions in caring for these employees.
Issued by DENOSA in KwaZulu-Natal
For more information, contact:
Mandla Shabangu, DENOSA Provincial Secretary