The Public Service Commission (PSC) in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) welcomes the swift suspension, by the KZN Department of Health, of two nurses from Buxeden Clinic, near Nongoma for allegedly failing to assist a pregnant woman who later gave birth in a taxi on the side of the road. According to media reports, the woman who was about to go on labour requested the taxi driver to take her to the nearest clinic. Upon arrival at the clinic, the nurses allegedly disputed that she was about to go on labour, and also failed to call an ambulance to take her to Benedictine Hospital which was 30km away.
The nurses did not only lack Ubuntu, but their actions denied the pregnant Mother access to health care, which is a basic human right. Their actions were also contrary to the Constitutional Values and Principles (CVPs) which states that A high standard of professional ethics must be promoted and maintained by all public servants and that Services must be provided impartially, fairly, equitable and without bias .
When a public servant is appointed to the service, he/she must commit to serve the public with pride and in accordance with the code of conduct. Key to this is the embracement of the CVPs that serves as a yardstick in the execution of their duties. All officials appointed in the Public Service, their primary responsibility is to serve the public and in doing so, they must adhere to the following values and principles outlined in Section 195 of the Constitution:
1. A high standard of professional ethics must be promoted and maintained.
2. Efficient economic and effective use of resources must be promoted.
3. Public administration must be development oriented.
4. Services must be provided impartially, fairly, equitably and without bias.
5. People’s need must be responded to and the public must be encouraged to participate in policy making.
6. Public administration must be accountable.
7. Transparency must be fostered by providing the public with timely, accessible and accurate information.
8. Good human resource management and career development practices to maximize human potential must be cultivated.
Public administration must be broadly representative of the South African people with employment and personnel management practices based on ability, objectivity, fairness and the need to redress the imbalances of the past to achieve broad representation.
The Constitution empowers the PSC to promote and evaluate the values and principles set out in section 195 in the Public Service Act. The CVPs aim to inculcate the culture of professionalism, accountability, responsiveness and ethical behavior in the Public Service.
To this end, the PSC will monitor the investigation against the two nurses to ensure that if there was any wrongdoing, relevant disciplinary measures should be taken.
Source: Government of South Africa