Clinic nurses take MEC to task

Riot Hlatshwayo

Nurses at the KaNyamazane clinic outside Nelspruit have lambasted health MEC Fish Mahlalela for saying he was too busy to attend to the ailing health services in the province.

"The Fish must just stop being as slippery as a real fish in the water," one frustrated nurse said.

"We are tired of being insulted by frustrated patients as a result of the department's bungling.

"The MEC will have to do something about the situation if he knows what's good for him and his department."

The nurses have on several occasions been forced to close down the clinic because they are understaffed and are not paid for overtime.

Patients with serious and chronic diseases and others are often forced to go home without having received any treatment.

The last time the clinic was closed was on Wednesday last week, when nurses on dayshift left at 4pm.

The clinic was eventually reopened at about 7pm and staffed by a nurse whom the department hired from the Nelspruit Medi-Clinic.

Last Wednesday was not the first time that the clinic closed for similar reasons.

About two weeks ago a nurse discovered that a colleague, who was supposed to have worked with her that night, had been booked off sick.

So she simply closed the clinic and went home.

Department spokesman Mpho Gabashane said: "This is disturbing and we are asking affected individuals to bear with us while we address this unfortunate situation."

Richard Ndlovu, who lives in the area, said it would be better for the clinic to close down for good instead of having people go there and wasting their time "for zero".