Nurses fight for better working conditions

NURSES under the United Nurses Forum handed over a list of their grievances to East Griqualand and Usher Memorial Hospital management last Wednesday.

Complaints that were listed in their memorandum included a shortage of staff, allocation of houses for nurses, rejection of meter taxis and visitors into nurses’ home, and unequal treatment between nurses and staff residing at hospital accommodation.

The forum’s president, Bekithemba Gumbi from KwaZulu-Natal, said nurses who work at night are being denied accommodation at the nurses’ home.

“Accommodation at the nurses’ home is allocated to nurses who work during day shift.

“Nurses sometimes bath with cold water because the hospital fails to provide hot water,” he said.

He added that relatives of nurses who want to stay or visit at the nurses’ home are refused entry and meter taxis are also refused access. He said staff shortages have affected nurses and, as a result, they work irregular hours.

“Nurses work overtime because of the shortage of staff. Nurses also need workshops and extra training to improve knowledge and skills,” he said.

The memorandum was received by the hospital management who promised to attend to it.

The Department of Health Harry Gwala District assistant director communications Silindile Mabaso acknowledged receipt of the memorandum.

“Some of the issues raised have been discussed and the management is still going to find ways of solving complaints,” she said.

The forum was established in April this year to take care of the problems nurses experience in all KwaZalu-Natal hospitals.