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Patients not abandoned during nurses’ march

“Nurses have not abandoned their patients.”

This was the assurance given on Wednesday by an on duty nurse at the Chris Hani Baragwanath hospital as hundreds of nurses marched in Pretoria to demand better working conditions for nurses and a more functional nursing council.

The nurse‚ who did not want to be named‚ said a pamphlet regarding the protest did the rounds and nurses from the hospital joined in but it was planned in advance.

“There was a bus that picked them up to go to Pretoria but only the nurses who were off today joined the march. There are nurses working today so that patients were not left unattended.” she said.

Cleaners‚ boilermakers‚ Department of Social Development staff and community health workers came out to support nurses in their march through Pretoria on Wednesday.

Nurses were to march to the SA Nursing Council offices to demand it open more offices nationally. Nurses from across the country miss work each year to travel to the Pretoria office to pay annual professional fees

In and out patients at the Baragwanath hospital as well as Charlotte Maxeke hospital said they had not noticed any changes or slow service at the hospital as everything was operating as normal.

Thato Ramodibe who went to pick up her medication and visit a friend in the emergency unit at Baragwanath Hospital said everything in the hospital was functional apart from delays experienced with the information capturing systems.

Steve Mabona‚ spokesperson for the MEC of Health in Gauteng‚ said the department is still collating information on how many nurses took part in the protest.

“Nurses are essential service workers and are not allowed to participate in any industrial action during working hours. If they do participate‚ it will constitute an act of misconduct and disciplinary action will be instituted‚” Mabona said.



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