#FShealthcrisis: Nurses seek national intervention for staff shortages

Nurses in the Free State have sought out intervention from the National Health Department to deal with staff shortages, among other issues.

Vacancies at health facilities in the province have again been dragged into the spotlight in a statement released by The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (Denosa) yesterday, after midwives and staff at Pelonomi Hospital’s maternity ward forwarded their grievances to management.

Denosa Free State Provincial Chairperson, Thibogang Thole, told OFM News that every year about 200 nurses graduate from nursing colleges in the province, but these nurses are not employed at health facilities despite shortages.

He says previously they were told the Department was unable to hire more staff, because it was under administration, he asks now that the Department is no longer under administration, why can’t they hire nurses to deal with the staff shortages?

This comes after the latest report by the Portfolio Committee on Public Accounts and Finance (Propac) in the Free State Legislature listed vacancies at the Free State Health department as one of its major challenges.

OFM News was told the shortage of medical staff at the Free State Psychiatric Hospital has reached critical levels with only one nurse serving a ward with up to 30 patients – some of them needing around the clock monitoring and care. Thole further urged community members to place pressure on the government, because it’s them that bear the brunt of staff shortages – having to endure long queues at health facilities.

Lack of security at health facilities was one of the grievances listed by the nurses.