nursing thumb medium90 93The Star reports that more than 600 nurses in the Eastern Cape have allegedly been left jobless despite the crippling effects of Covid19 on healthcare facilities in the province.  

The nurses were on 12-month contracts that commenced at the beginning of last year, with 31 January marking their last day as intern nurses across the province’s healthcare facilities.  Some filled in for older nurses who had underlying conditions, while others were dispatched to Covid-19 wards. One of the nurses was a team leader at a hospital.  According to the nurses, they were informed that there was no money from the Treasury to appoint them on a permanent basis.  “We were totally surprised to hear such because doctors, radiographers and physiotherapists were also on internship contracts but it seems like they got permanent contracts even before their intern contracts expired,” one nurse noted.  The Democratic Nursing Organisation of SA (Denosa) in the Eastern Cape said it felt that nurses were not taken seriously by the Department of Health.  “The nurses have worked as frontline workers during the pandemic and risked their lives tirelessly, and have experienced the burden that is within the hospitals and the shortage of staff,” the union observed.  Denosa noted that there were other interns who had received appointment letters, while yet others had been told to wait until April.  The union has consulted its mother body, which is attending to the matter.  But, action that it wants to take “is that of going to Bhisho and stage a sit-in where we would stress our demands. We are not willing to wait until April, money must be borrowed from other departments to fund us.”


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