Gauteng healthcare system at crisis point - YNI

The Young Nurses Indaba says interventions are too late as the health system has already reached crisis point.

A woman holds a placard during a march by hundreds of nurses from across the country in central Pretoria for better pay and working conditions. Picture:Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - While the Gauteng Health Department says it's looking at ways to deal with the work overload experienced by its hospital staff, the Young Nurses Indaba says it's too late for this as the health system has already reached crisis point.

The department has assured the public that services at the Charlotte Maxeke Academic and the Thelle Mogoerane hospitals will not be disrupted, despite the facilities losing clinical staff who are pursuing opportunities in the private sector.

MEC Qedani Mahlangu says at health facilities such as the Thelle Mogoerane Hospital, workers resigned because of work overload and the lure of better pay elsewhere.

Earlier this year, the Young Nurses Indaba, which represents thousands of young nurses across the country, embarked on a mass march to Mahlangu's offices in Johannesburg.

They called for immediate action around the "exodus of nursing practitioners" in the province.

The indaba's Lebogang Phehla says: "Besides the workload, they need to pay nurses a decent wage. This is demoralising a nurse and marginalising them economically."

Phehla says until the health ministry treats its nurses better, services at public hospitals will continue to worsen.

He says government needs to realise that it will continue to lose its staff to the private sector and to other countries because that's where they're treated with the admiration they deserve.