Denosa has raised concerns about the budget vote presented by KZN Health MEC, which fails to address pertinent issues Picture: Pexels

Durban - Nursing union, Denosa, has expressed concern about the budget vote put forward by KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC, Nomagugu Simelane Zulu. Last week, the MEC delivered her maiden budget vote at the KZN Legislature. 

According to Denosa provincial secretary, Mandla Shabangu, issues relating to the growing number of litigations, the safety of health workers, the failure of the National Health Insurance pilot projects and the failure to fill staff vacancies were of major concern to them.  

"In our view, gross shortage of health workers contributes about 70% of the litigations that the department is faced with. We proposed to the department and asked them to fill vacant posts rather than pay lawyers exorbitant amounts," he said. 

Shabangu said 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," he said. 

He said the failure of NHI in pilot districts highlighted the plight of the issues with the department. 

"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," he said. 

"Another fact is 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," he said. 

The Mercury