About 30 nurses protested outside the municipal offices in Khayelitsha demanding certain management officers be removed. The staff accuse the managers of abusing them and making them work under difficult conditions.
“There’s always lack of stationary. Computers are not working. Once we report the matter to the management, they ignore us or tell us to find another job,” said a worker from Zakele clinic who asked not to be named.
Nurses from five clinics in Khayelitsha said they raised their grievances to the management in 2012 through their union, South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu), but after two years, no one has been willing to help.
Other grievances included a lack of security, unfair dismissals of staff and the clinics being cramped. Some said they have been held at gunpoint at work and no one helped them.
They also claim each nurse must serve at least 50 patients a day.
Samwu organiser Stanley Yisaka told GroundUp that workers are now tired of waiting for the Department of Health. They feel no one cares.
“We say enough is enough. We are tired of complaining. We demand action to be taken,” said Yisaka.
He said they will block the municipal offices until the workers grievances are taken care of.
When GroundUp arrived, nurses were singing and carrying a placard with the face of Dr Virginia de Azeredo.
“We demand Azeredo and her colleagues to be removed,” shouted workers.
GroundUp visited Zakele and Kuyasa clinic.
In Zakele, only one nurse was working patients were being turned home.
The nurse on duty said she can only serve ten people. She said she had been working alone since Thursday.
“I cannot take this anymore. I can’t work like this. Yesterday, I was alone and today no one is helping me,” she told patients.
Anelisa Malgas from Khayelitsha D-section said she was turned back home.
“This is not on. Yesterday I was here and there were not nurses. Again, today, I’m going home and my child need his injections,” she said.
In Kuyasa clinic, patients complained about the waiting time.
Asanele Mbono told GroundUp she’d been waiting for her folder for two hours.
“I don’t even know if I’m going to be served or not. You can see the nurses here are pissed off. We are even [too] scared to ask them questions,” said Mbono.
After two hours of protesting, nurses divided themselves into eight groups. They vowed to close all the clinics on Tuesday. They then went back to their clinics. However, they refused to attend to patients.
The Department of Health said it was unable to comment at the time of publishing,.
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Source : GroundUp