Nurses expected to down tools in support of Cosatu strike

Nurses affiliated to Denosa are expected to down tools in support of a Cosatu strike.
Nurses affiliated to Denosa are expected to down tools in support of a Cosatu strike.
Image: Gallo images/Sowetan/Sandile Ndlovu

As SA wakes up to the threat of a massive strike against job losses, nurses affiliated to the Democratic Nursing Organisation of SA (Denosa) said they would down tools in support of the Cosatu-led industrial action.

Speaking on Tuesday, Denosa said they planned to join Cosatu to express their concerns of job losses in the health sector.

"Key to our concerns is the implementation of the National Health Insurance (NHI) as a country’s vehicle towards achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) whereby all citizens will access quality healthcare regardless of their socio-economic standing.

"But this objective will not be realised anytime soon if community service nurses are not employed as soon as they are qualified and nurses who retire or resign do not get replaced for years, as is often the case," the union said in a statement.

"The universal health coverage in South Africa will never be realised if provincial governments continue to withhold filling of vacant positions for nurses. This is because, by its nature, the healthcare system is largely driven by nurses. If the numbers that are employed are still below the levels as indicated in organograms of health facilities, then the quality healthcare service will continue to suffer severely."

The union also said that achieving good primary healthcare could only be achieved if medical facilities were better equipped.

Cosatu was on Wednesday set to embark on a strike that it hopes will bring all nine provinces to a standstill.

Spokesperson Sizwe Pamla said the central message of the strike was to highlight the fight against job losses in the public and private sectors. Pamla said thousands of workers were expected to strike.

"Even if workers don't take part, any worker who decides not to go to work tomorrow is protected by the [strike] certificate issued by the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac)," said Pamla. 

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