The IFP has challenged the KZN MEC of Health, Dr S'bongiseni Dhlomo to tell the public what is his department doing to stop the exodus of nurses for greener pastures in overseas countries.
"It is disheartening to learn that more and more South African nurses are taking their skills and knowledge abroad for the promise of more pay and better working conditions. This tells us that there is something wrong when it comes to working conditions of nurses in this country. Urgent action is needed to address this matter. If it need be government must increase nurses salaries and improve working conditions to make them stay and serve our people," said IFP KZN Provincial Spokesperson on Health, Mrs Ncamisile Nkwanyana, MPL.
"If we hope to maintain a high quality of care in our health facilities, we must improve nurses' working conditions, which have deteriorated over the last decade. To help achieve that end, the IFP is calling for strict implementation and monitoring of legislation that protects patients and nurses, and ensures better care. Nurses know that they can't provide the best quality of nursing care under their current working conditions. If staff are treated well, they will stay with the KZN Department of Health and deliver the best care to those who need it and they should be supported to do so," continued Mrs Nkwanyana.
"The Department must conduct a staffing survey which will provide valuable insights into the perceptions of nurses regarding their working conditions and the impact that changes in the health care system are having on patient care and safety. This is important data that the Department can take into consideration when planning and financing the health care sector in the province. To say that the public health care sector is in crisis is putting it mildly and something needs to be done urgently to turn things around," concluded Mrs Nkwanyana.
The IFP is of the view that the bottom line is that we have to improve working conditions in order to enable experienced nurses to stay in nursing longer, so that young people will be attracted into the profession.
Mrs Ncamisile Nkwanyana MPL, IFP Spokesperson on Health, 084 736 5183 / 078 302 3991
For Media Enquiries:
IFP KZN Provincial Legislature Media Liaison Officer, Mr Phendulani Biyase, 073 024 5675