NURSES are human beings too. | Zanele Zulu.
NURSES are human beings too. | Zanele Zulu.

Denosa Student Movement frustrated by Health department’s ignorance

By Harvest Thwala Time of article published Jan 7, 2022

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THE Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (Denosa) National Student Movement said it was highly disappointed in the Department of Health for not honouring its commitment to receive the memorandum at the nursing council on November 25 last year.

Denosa took to the streets of Tshwane to deliver its memorandum of grievances to the nursing regulatory body, the South African Nursing Council (SANC), and the Chief Nursing Officer last year.

The memorandum demanded a suitable funding model for nursing education, quality, dignified and well-maintained infrastructure in nursing education institutions and that community service nurses must be absorbed immediately post-completion to address staff shortages in the country's healthcare facilities.

In a statement, the movement revealed that on the December 31 , the community service contract ended for community service nurses and many of them were shown the door without any promise of employment opportunities.

“The community service nurses are being released from employment mainly to create space for the incoming community service nurses. A phenomenon we have warned about in the past is that there is a trend of exploitation to save money by paying low salaries of community service nurses, also by not employing them and replacing them with new low wage workforce every year.

“This process was done abruptly and is not leaving these nurses with any options of employment elsewhere or to even plan financially for the tough month of January. Some are facing eviction because they cannot pay rent and couldn’t meet their debt payments for this month,” said the student movement.

Denosa said it rejects the process of recruitment and selection as suggested by circular 43 and said these nurses were employees of the Department of Health and posts must be created for them immediately.

“The recruitment and selection process will consume time and our nurses remain unemployed since there is no guarantee that they will get jobs because they must still wait for advertisement of posts and compete through interviews and short-listing.”

The national chairperson of the movement, Nathaniel Mabelebele, revealed that every year they are faced with such situations, and he said the department of health must ensure that they speed up the process of creating posts for these nurses, without their delay tactic of recruitment and selection process.

“Every year, we face such situations from the ‘Hollywood’ Department of Health where everyone is acting. We are seeing a systems crisis where there is no stability of leadership and things are constantly mismanaged. All acting positions must be properly filled with qualified people.

“It is a wasteful expenditure for the Department of Health to take these nurses to school and later have no use for them. We still maintain that there is an agenda of casualisation taking place where many nurses are placed on short-term contracts with no job stability ,” said Mabelebele.

Denosa calls on all post-community service nurses who are affected in Gauteng to meet at the employer’s office at 45 Commissioner Street, Johannesburg on Monday, January 10, to camp there patiently and peacefully waiting for their jobs to be reinstated.

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