Campaign launched to improve Western Cape medical working environment

21 August 2013 - 15:43 By Sapa

Nurses and doctors launched a campaign to improve their working environment in the Western Cape on Wednesday.

The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (Denosa) and the South African Medical Association (Sama) detailed their plan for a positive practice environment, following launches in the Northern Cape, Eastern Cape, and Limpopo.

Sama vice chairman Dr Mark Sonderup said there had been a historically antagonistic relationship between government and healthcare workers.

"If you're going to wait for government to deliver, you're going to wait a long time," he told reporters and workers at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town.

"It's time for healthcare workers to roll up their sleeves and see what we can do."

He said the campaign would see a more collaborative approach.

Denosa president Dorothy Matebeni agreed, calling on nurses and doctors to "adopt" a medical facility with issues and bring these to the attention of the health department.

She said the first phase of the campaign would focus on the safety and payment of workers.

In the Eastern Cape, for example, healthcare workers were not paid for a few months after starting in a position.

The campaign would run over the next two years, also addressing other issues, such as equipment, supplies, and education.