Nurses to march to health dept

Approximately 2500 nurses are expected to march to the department of health and the nursing council on Monday, to demand better working conditions and salaries. This photo was taken from a previous Young Nurses Indaba function. PHOTO:Young Nurses Indaba Facebook page

Tshegofatso Ngobeni

Nurses will march to the health department and the nursing council over their working conditions in Pretoria on Monday.

This would be organised by the Young Nurses Indaba, a composite of nursing unions, political parties and nursing groups.

It said the march formed part of a #PayourNurses campaign for the improvement working conditions, transformation of the profession and pay rises.

Spokesperson Lebogang Phehla said nurses were paid far less than dentists, yet they worked longer hours.

He said the workload of nurses had increased because of the high number of foreign nationals using public hospitals, and called for moonlighting by nurses to be addressed.

He argued these nurses were fatigued. The group was also demanding modern medical equipment to make nurses’ jobs easier.

Phehla said the SA Nursing Council needed satellite offices outside of Gauteng to be more accessible to nurses from other provinces.

“The council should be in every province,” Phehla said, adding that the council needed to reduce the time it took to register a nurse’s qualifications to one month.

“Nurses lose out on employment opportunities and promotion while waiting for the registration of qualifications, which could take up to six months,” he said.

The organisation was also demanding the white uniform associated with Florence Nightingale be changed.

“This notion of Florence Nightingale has led to nurses being exploited because people think we are called to become nurses,” he said.

“#Nightingalemustfall.”

A minimum of 2 500 nurses, who will be wearing black, are expected to join the march.

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