The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) in KwaZulu-Natal notes the Budget Vote that was presented by Health MEC in the province last week and we are especially concerned about a number of issues.
1. Growing litigations against the Department
Litigation against the department are growing at a fast pace which DENOSA has hinted to the Department some of the contributory factors. In our view, gross shortage of health workers contributes about 70% of these litigations that the department is faced with.
We proposed to the department and asked a fundamental question: why does the department not fill vacant posts instead of paying lawyers these exorbitant amounts?
2. Safety of health workers not addressed
The safety of health workers in institutions was not taken care of, except for ambulances. We note this with concern because both nurses and patients are not safe in the health institutions. The recent incident at Ngwelezane Hospital where one patient killed another patient is a case in point that highlights the need to strengthen safety in the workplace.
We thought MEC would come up with solutions in this regard.
3. Implementation of NHI in the pilot districts
The implementation of the National Health Insurance (NHI) in the pilot districts in the province has failed dismally. The pilot unearthed many infrastructural and backlogs in the districts which have not yet been addressed. Despite this, however, the national department of health is still adamant that they are ready to start NHI.
DENOSA reiterates that the NHI must not be met with the same challenges that exist today which, like the filling of vacant position created by retirement of resignation, should easily be resolved.
4. Poor infrastructure
Infrastructure of the department in almost 80% of institutions is a disgrace and unsafe for both health workers and patients.
5. Moratorium on junior category posts
The continuing moratorium on appointment of personnel to junior category posts is a problem because if a staff nurse retires or resigns their posts are not filled, which leaves the burden of workload with those remaining behind. The situation is dire and needs great leadership.
Issued by the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) in KwaZulu-Natal