RNs - South Africa

KZN health dept fires 700 nurses over strike

SABC News, February 6, 2007
The KwaZulu-Natal health department says it has fired over 700 nurses who participated in a 10-day illegal strike in the province. The department had earlier issued an ultimatum for all nurses to return to duty, but this was ignored. Leon Mbangwa, the departmental spokesperson, says 220 nurses were dismissed at Prince Mshiyeni Hospital at Umlazi, 208 at Ngwelezane near Empangeni on the north coast, 141 at Edendale Hospital in Pietermaritzburg, and the rest at other hospitals around the province. The nurses' demands included the payment of rural and scarce skills allowances. Copyright © 2000 - 2007 SABC.

Striking KZN nurses dismissed

Sapa, February 2, 2007 KwaZulu-Natal health department has dismissed striking nurses who did not return to work within 12 hours of being given an ultimatum to do so, it announced on Friday. The nurses went on an unprotected strike last Monday demanding, among other things, the payment of rural and scarce skills allowances backdated to July 2003, said provincial health department spokesperson Leon Mbangwa. ... Striking

No Work No Pay - KZN Health Department

Bathandwa Mbola, BuaNews (Tshwane), January 25, 2007 The KwaZulu-Natal Health Department has implemented a "no work no pay" policy for nurses who embarked on an illegal and unprotected industrial strike at several hospitals in the province. About 130 nurses and nursing assistants did not report for work in four of the province's hospitals on Tuesday. The hospitals that have been affected by the strike were Edendale, Benedictine, Ngwelezana and GJ Crookes. Spokesperson for the KwaZulu-Natal Nurses Committee Makhehla Nyandu said the nurses who were on strike demanded to be paid extra allowances for working in rural areas and for their scarce skills. They claimed this was agreed upon between themselves and the department. ... No

Nurses' strike disrupts hospital service

Bhavna Sookha, Daily News, January 24, 2007 Striking nurses continued with their industrial action on Tuesday disrupting services at some provincial hospitals. At Benedictine Hospital in Nongoma, northern KwaZulu-Natal, there were allegations that the strike became violent and strikers were chasing working staff away from their stations. At GJ Crookes Hospital on the South Coast, strikers were allegedly preventing staff from entering the hospital. At Ngwelezane Hospital in Empangeni, service delivery was said to have been slightly affected with the hospital asking those on leave to return to work. The ongoing industrial action started this week and is expected to continue until the end of the week. ... Nurses

State hospitals cough up as nurses leave for better pay

Chantelle Benjamin, Business Day, January 17, 2007 Johannesburg Hospital is feeling the pinch as nurses continue to leave state hospitals for better pay and working conditions, forcing hospitals to hire nurses from agencies at higher rates. Johannesburg Hospital alone spent more than R19m in payments for agency nurses in 2005 - more than three times what the hospital spent in 2003, because nurses were leaving faster than they were being hired, said Gauteng health MEC Brian Hlongwa. He was replying to a question asked in the Gauteng legislature by Jack Bloom, Democratic Alliance provincial health spokesman. ... State

'Nurses returning to SA in droves'

Mpho Manana & Thembisile Makgalemele, Pretoria News, January 13, 2007 The grass is not greener on the other side, as South Africa's health professionals have learned. They are now coming back in droves. Lured by huge salaries, they left frustrated Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang with vacant posts to fill. Professional nurses in the country earn from R8 000 to R18 000, according to Denosa, a nursing organisation, and about £2 500 in London, which amounts to R30 000. ... Nurses

Nurses tell of gun terror threat by ANC councillor

Mawande Jack, Port Elizabeth Herald, December 13, 2006 Nurses at the Motherwell Health Care Centre allege they were held at gunpoint and terrorised by a councillor who demanded immediate treatment for his assaulted son. However, Ward 58 councillor Friday Frans said the matter had been “exaggerated by a nurse who had personal differences” with him and had “blown it out of proportion” to tarnish his image. “I merely confronted a gang of youths who had beaten my son and were out to finish him at the hospital,” said Frans. ... Nurses

Gompo nurses’ strike leaves hundreds in health crisis

Ntando Makhubu, Daily Dispatch, November 4, 2006 Tens of thousands of residents have been left stranded for more than a week after one of East London’s biggest and busiest community health centres closed its doors, as nurses downed stethoscopes over security issues. The normally bustling Empilweni Gompo Community Health Centre – which serves a community of 149000 people – yesterday was devoid of life, after nurses started a work stoppage last Thursday, following a strike over wages by security guards. The nurses said they were working in a “very risky” area in Buffalo Flats and feared they would be mugged and robbed. ... Gompo

Nurses deserve far better treatment

Daily News, October 23, 2006 President Thabo Mbeki, speaking at the 10th annual Denosa conference last Saturday, committed himself to making "urgent interventions" to ensure that the nursing profession "continues to occupy its rightful and respected place in our society". This commitment is very welcome, but would be much more meaningful if it were not for a great deal of disrespect shown to the profession by his government over the past few years. Salaries are a part of the reason for the despondency among nurses. Although constrained by the budget, government must make a more sincere effort to pay nurses better. ... Nurses

SA govt told to listen to nurses’ grievances

Mabutho Michael, AND, October 12, 2006 Johannesburg - Just a week after South African president, Thabo Mbeki, committed himself to make urgent intervention to the problems facing the nursing profession in the country the main opposition party, Democratic Alliance, has added that government should do more than talking. DA spokesperson, Gareth Morgan, said Mbeki’s commitment is welcomed, but insisted that it would be much more meaningful if it were not in the context of the great disrespect often shown to the profession by his government over the past few years. ... SA

Mbeki Commends Nursing Organisation's Achievements

BuaNews (Tshwane), October 8, 2006 President Thabo Mbeki has commended the achievements and of the Democratic Nurses Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) in terms of their mission to serve the nation. "As we celebrate a decade of the existence of this non-racial, non-sexist democratic body of the nursing profession, I would like to touch on two areas of the mission of DENOSA. These are, to stabilise a harmonious and co-operative relationship between members and their employers; and to promote and enhance the quality of patient care and health standards, inspired by a caring ethos," Mr Mbeki said at the celebrations on Friday. ... Mbeki

Mbeki calls on nurses to uphold high standards

South African Broadcasting Corporation, October 7, 2006
President Thabo Mbeki has urged the nursing profession to uphold high levels of commitment to professionalism and devotion to the welfare of the sick. Mbeki was addressing the 10th anniversary of the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (Denosa) in Durban. He said the government is determined to reduce the number of nurses that South Africa loses to other countries. Copyright © 2000 - 2003 SABC.

Government to tackle nurse exodus

SAPA, October 6, 2006 Durban - President Thabo Mbeki told nurses on Friday that he had agreed to institute a "chief directorate" that would focus on nurses' issues only. He spoke at the 10th anniversary celebrations of the Democratic Nurses Organisation of SA (Denosa) in Durban. While Mbeki did not elaborate about the "chief directorate", he said that Denosa's secretary general Thembeka Gwaga had persuaded him of the need for such a post within the government. ... Government

Poor salaries induce nurses to 'quackery'

Dominique Herman, Cape Times, September 27, 2006 Nurses are the "backbone" of the health system and poor pay has led many of them to indulge in the promotion of medicinal "quackery" as a moonlighting method of earning additional cash, according to Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) general secretary Sipho Mthathi. These nurses punted alternative medicines as a business opportunity, Mthathi said, and were motivated to do so by "perverse incentives". "Nurses are actively promoting immune boosters and before we know it, none of the things we're trying to do are going to be effective," she said, in reference to the fight between those who advocated for the use of anti-retrovirals in the treatment of HIV and Aids and those who encouraged the poor to take traditional and complementary medicines. ... Poor

Nurses to embark on sit-in

SAPA, August 2, 2006 Johannesburg - Nurses will embark on a sit-in at Rustenburg Provincial Hospital following the reinstatement of a CEO under investigation, their labour union said on Wednesday. National Education Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) employees complained about the CEO at a Service Delivery Campaign protest. "She allegedly interfered with employment policies, forcing management to hire her friends and also harboured people within the premises who are not employed at the institution at the expense of the hospital," Provincial Secretary Pat Motubatsi said. ... Nurses

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