WC Health Dept says dismissal of 2 nurses over uniforms fair, legal

A small group of nurses picketed outside the provincial legislature on Friday in support of the nurses. The Weekend Argus reports the nurses claim they were unfairly dismissed simply over a uniform.

Karl Bremer Hospital in Bellville. Picture: Cindy Archillies

CAPE TOWN - The Western Cape Health Department says the dismissal of two nurses from Karl Bremer Hospital was a fair and legal process.

The two nurses were dismissed more than a year ago following an on-going dispute over their uniforms.

A small group of nurses picketed outside the provincial legislature on Friday in support of the nurses.

The_ Weekend Argus_ reports the nurses claim they were unfairly dismissed simply over a uniform.

They've attempted to appeal the department's decision by approaching the Labour Department, but this has proven unsuccessful.

The provincial health department's Mark van der Heever says the problems began when the nurses refused to stop wearing their gilets while working with patients with open wounds.

“We have held a meeting with them where we requested them not to wear the gilets when they are attending to patients in clinical areas when they are attending to patients with open wounds because it doesn’t form part of their normal dress code. But still, they still refused to comply with the nurse dress uniform.”

Van der Heever says the disciplinary process was fair.

“We could not take the risk in terms of infection to our patients from them wearing anything besides their uniform so we came to the conclusion in consultation with the labour parties, with the union, with the processes that they needed to be dismissed.”