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Nurses should be central to health system for NHI to succeed - Cosatu

Cosatu president Zingiswa Losi has called on Nehawu to be more vocal in raising issues affecting nurses, including the poor working conditions many are subjected to.

Cosatu President Zingiswa Losi at the two-day national nurses' seminar. Picture: @_cosatu/Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG - Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) President Zingiswa Losi says the implementation of the National Health Insurance (NHI) runs the risk of failing if nurses are not placed at the centre of the country's health system.

National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union (Nehawu) has convened a two-day national nurses seminar in Johannesburg.

The meeting is aimed at finding ways to accelerate transformation in the nursing fraternity and advance primary healthcare.

Losi says the success of the NHI faces a serious threat if nurses are not central to the transformation of the country’s health sector.

She says health bodies must develop systems that will advance the nursing profession.

“It is a long time since government adopted the 10 point plan.”

The Cosatu president has called on Nehawu to be more vocal in raising issues affecting nurses, including the poor working conditions many are subjected to.

Losi says the occupational health and safety of nurses needs to be urgently prioritised.

She says nurses are facing serious problems in their profession.

“Nurses in particular, but also other health workers, are exposed to serious diseases which are also infectious and fatal, including physical body harm through violence."

(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)