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‘Hire post-community service nurses, or else!’ warns union

Denosa in KwaZulu-Natal resolved to give an ultimatum to the Department of Health to hire the nurses this week, or face protests in health-care facilities from the following week.

File picture: EPA

Published Jul 5, 2022

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Durban - The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (Denosa) in KwaZulu-Natal has given the the KZN Health Department an ultimatum to hire post-community service nurses in the province this week, or else they will embark on a protest.

Denosa says following repeated failures by the KZN Department of Health to honour its commitment made in May this year to hire the 80 nurses who had completed their year of community service in the province, the union is left with no other alternative but to give the department an ultimatum; “hire the nurses before this week ends, or else we will meet on the streets come the following week”.

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Denosa Provincial chairperson Sibonelo Cele says given the continued gross shortage of staff in the province as a result of non-absorption of nurses who completed their year of community service by the Department of Health, the department made a solid commitment to Denosa on International Nurses Day to absorb the 80 outstanding post-community service nurses who had been left out of employment, despite having completed their community service.

“The department, represented by the MEC and HOD, agreed to employ the post-community service nurses on a six-month contract, with the view to also employing the Covid-19 contracted nurses permanently upon the end of their contracts.

“A week later, however, the department employed only eight post-community service nurses in the Ugu District. Not a single nurse other than those was employed after that by the department,” said Cele.

Denosa says it has made numerous follow ups with the department.

“A circular was issued after that, stopping health-care institutions in the province from advertising posts and prioritising the absorption of contract nurses – nothing about the absorption of post-community service nurses.

“With the above promises not having materialised, Denosa in KwaZulu-Natal resolved to give an ultimatum to the Department of Health to hire the nurses this week, or face protests in health-care facilities from the following week,” said Cele.

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Cele says this decision by union is the last resort.

The KZN Department of Health says the MEC and HOD would meet on Tuesday to discuss this matter.

THE MERCURY

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