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South Africa : Nurses Vow to Shut Kwazulu Natal Hospital - News - Nurses Arena Forum

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South Africa : Nurses Vow to Shut Kwazulu Natal Hospital by katty : May 24, 2018, 05:05:57 PM
Durban - Protesting nursing staff at Osindisweni Hospital in Verulam have vowed to shut it down if their demands are not met.

Thokozani Zulu, the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union’s branch secretary, said there were a number of issues the staff faced at the hospital.

She said one building had been inspected and was declared unfit for people to work in. “A child once got electrocuted in that ward,” she said.

Leaking roofs resulted in staff having to use blankets to soak up the water.

“Sometimes we have to bring our own ingredients from home when preparing food for patients,” Zulu said.

Nurse Melusi Mazibuko said it often happened that five nurses would have to work with more than 50 patients. He said this included bathing, feeding and giving them medication.

“Some patients and their families don’t understand why they are not getting proper service, and blame us,” he said.

They also had to clean the wards because the cleaners had either retired or died, and had not been replaced.

He also said they often had to give patients Panado in place of antibiotics, which were unavailable.

Mazibuko, who has worked at the hospital for four years, said when they enquired about why they were not getting any help, they were told that there were no resources available.

“This is depressing and it leads to staff absenteeism because they do not know what they are going to do without any equipment. We often have to ask for equipment from other hospitals,” Mazibuko said.

A member of the public, who was also protesting, said her mother had been turned away because the hospital did not have her blood pressure medication.“Many members in the community are unemployed and can’t afford to go to private doctors or other hospitals.”

The woman said people had to get there as early as 5am and would wait for hours before being seen by a doctor.

“When we do get help, the doctor will write us a prescription and send us to the pharmacy. When we get to the pharmacy, they tell us they don’t have that type of medication and send us back to the doctor, who writes another prescription. We go back to the pharmacy, who tells us they don’t even have the alternative prescription,” she said.

Yesterday a memorandum of grievances was handed to the hospital’s management and to Dr Musa Gumede, the acting head of the Department of Health.

Gumede said he would discuss the memorandum with the relevant stakeholders.

He added that staff shortage was an ongoing problem which he had been discussing with Nehawu earlier this week.

Gumede said the complaints were genuine and needed to be addressed.

He also said Nehawu was the department’s social partner and they were not fighting with the union, but would engage with them.

Gumede said some of the problems Osindisweni faced existed at other hospitals, which he had been discussing with Health MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo.

Health Department spokesperson Ncumisa Mafunda said nursing staff took part in the protest, but services were uninterrupted. “Some of the issues raised by the nurses are known to the department, and are being dealt with internally.”

Daily News

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