Government must pay

Here is an opportunity for the government to make good of its protracted jackboot treatment of our health-workers.

Here is an opportunity for the government to make good of its protracted jackboot treatment of our health-workers.

For a 12-hour shift on her feet - doing all she can to save lives - our Florence Nightingale has nothing to show. And she has been spat on.

At best, the government's attitude towards the plight of nurses has been ponderous.

The same obduracy is meted out to our men and women in blue who risk their lives in one of the most criminalised and dangerous environments in the world.

Small wonder public servants are so peeved.

There is no appreciation for what they do. Instead government threatens to fire them as they press forward their demand for better pay and working conditions.

Why a chief professional nursing sister should take home R7000 after 18 years in service boggles the mind. Doctors, for instance, still take home about R11000.

Small wonder too that a diligent doctor and nurse struggle to buy jalopies, feed the kids and give them decent education.

And yet government expects us to help "stop them" when they want to sell their skills offshore.

And as sure as the sun will rise tomorrow, no self- respecting healthworker is happy to leave a patient unattended, unless he is gatvol.

A panacea is for the state to swallow its pride and pay teachers, nurses and police a decent wage.

X