Nurses march in Tshwane over grievances

25 November 2021 - 12:05
Challenges faced by nurses in Tshwane included continuing water supply interruptions to clinics. File photo.
Challenges faced by nurses in Tshwane included continuing water supply interruptions to clinics. File photo.
Image: Emile Bosch

The Democratic Nursing Organisation of SA (Denosa) and Denosa National Student Movement are expected to march in Pretoria on Thursday to highlight their grievances.

They plan to hand a memorandum to authorities about challenges and delays in nursing education.

Denosa Student Movement national chairperson Nathaniel Mabelebele said student nurses would also gather in other provinces. He said protesters had already gathered with a few still expected to arrive in Pretoria.

A memorandum will be handed over at the health department’s Tshwane district offices.

Mabelebele said the memorandum called for the “Persal [personal salary system] to be brought back as opposed to the bursary system” and for nurses doing community work to be absorbed into the system to address nursing shortages.

“We need well equipped and improved infrastructure in nursing colleges. We need community service nurses. Post completion of community service they must be employed by the Department of Health,” he said.

Challenges faced by nurses in Tshwane included continuing water supply interruptions to clinics, which affects the delivery of critical healthcare services in areas such as trauma, emergency and deliveries.

There was also a severe shortage of nurses and working equipment in clinics, which affected the quality of healthcare provided to communities.

Mabelebele said: “We believe that the former Persal system that was used is a much better alternative to the bursary system because the bursary system has taken away most of the benefits that student nurses have.

“Student nurse programmes don’t have the same kind of programme as all other courses. You have to go to your practicals while you are still studying and the hospitals are scattered around. So you can’t rely only on money from your national student financial aid.

“There are also issues of safety in the workplace. Students need to be able to claim in case of an injury on duty or occupational health issues that might happen on the job,” he said.

Mabelebele said student nurse residences were not well maintained and some colleges did not have adequately equipped computer labs.

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