By Sifiso Nhlabatsi | 2019-06-12
Members of the public who will be seeking medical help in government hospitals must brace themselves for some delays today.
This is because nurses all over the country have resolved to stage sit-ins from today up to next week Friday (21 June) where they will mobilise to deliver a petition to the Prime Minister Mandvulo Dlamini.
This decision was taken by nurses yesterday during a meeting held at Shosholoza Pre-School in Manzini.
The nurses want government to address the issue of shortage of drugs in hospitals; they also want government to address the issue of shortage of nurses in public hospitals and clinics and lack of uniforms.
Not only will nurses be staging sit-ins but they will also be mobilising members of the public including patients to join them when they go to pay the Prime Minister a visit.
Swaziland Democratic Nurses Union President Bheki Mamba confirmed the resolutions taken during the meeting yesterday.
Responding to comments made by the Director of Health Services Dr Vusi Magagula that government has delivered medication in hospitals, Mamba said they have been shocked by such lies as government knows very well that there are still shortages of medication in hospitals.
Mamba said the only medication that was delivered by government in hospitals was mainly Panados and Multivites.
The president said this medication does not help the situation that is persisting at the facilities. He said nurses have resolved that this is one issue that must be addressed.
Mamba said the second issue that surfaced during the meeting was the shortage of nurses in government hospitals.
He said there is a serious shortage of nurses and this has a negative impact when it comes to service delivery. Mamba said even the report that was presented by the Prime Minister recently clearly indicated that government did not do well when it comes to hiring of nurses. He said the progress report on national indicators that was presented by the Prime Minister is highlighted in red when it comes to the section speaking about the hiring of nurses.
He said the last issue that was raised by the nurses was the shortage of uniforms. Mamba said it has been a while since nurses last received their uniforms. He said there is a need for them as nurses to remind the ministry on the issue of uniforms.
Mamba said nurses have since resolved that next week Friday they will down tools and invite members of the public to join them to go and deliver a petition to the Prime Minister.
He said they will be mobilising the public to join them so that they can go to government and talk about the issue of medication. Mamba said this is because there is no point in time where government saw it necessary to call them as nurses and engage them on the issue of medication.
He said in some hospitals nurses will be staging sit-ins and tell patients that there is no medication up until next week Friday where they will deliver their petition.
Mamba said they will also be delivering the petition to the Ministry of Health to indicate to them that the working environment is no longer conducive in government hospitals. The Director of Health Services Dr Vusi Magagula said government was doing everything in its powers to address the issue.
Meanwhile the Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Health Dr Simon Zwane when contacted to ascertain on what will happen in hospitals during these sit-ins, his phone rang unanswered. A questionnaire which was sent to Zwane was not answered.
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