nursing thumb medium90 93GroundUp reports that the Eastern Cape government has reversed a decision by its provincial department of health (DOH) to terminate the employment of 625 post-community service nurses.  

The nurses, who completed their community service in the province, often treating Covid-19 patients, had not been given permanent contracts because the DOH said it did not have the money to employ them as it had been forced by the Covid-19 pandemic to redirect its money to fighting the disease.  As a result, the nurses, who would normally have been absorbed into the health care system, found themselves facing unemployment.  About 100 nurses protested last Wednesday at the Bhisho headquarters of the DOH, where they submitted a memorandum of grievances to the department’s Litha Matiwane.  Nurses in the protest said that offers of employment were withdrawn on 1 February, the day they were supposed to have sigedn their new contracts.  But following a meeting between the Eastern Cape Director General Mbulelo Sogoni, Acting Health Department HOD Dr Sibongile Zungu and the head of the provincial Treasury Daluhlanga Majeke, the nurses , received the good news that they could return to work this week.  DOH spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo said they would like to apologise to the nurses and the communities they served for the inconvenience caused by this confusion.

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