28 February 2013

South Africa: Denosa Applauds Minister's Affirmation of Health Infrastructure As Priority in His Budget Speech

press release

Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) applauds Finance Minister Pravin Godharn’s reassertion of health infrastructure as part of government’s priority in his Budget Speech in Parliament yesterday.

We hope this year’s health budget allocation of R138 billion will result in the acceleration of the resource allocation in both health centres as well as nursing colleges.

DENOSA also notes the report that a total of 1 967 health facilities and 49 nursing colleges were in different stages of planning, construction and refurbishment. President Jacob Zuma announced in his 2011 State of the Nation Address that government would undertake to revitalise 105 nursing colleges countrywide.

The success in completing these two projects speedily will be key determinants of the success of the country’s National Health Insurance, because feeding the NHI should be a solid foundation in the form of sound infrastructure under which student nurses are trained as well as enough resources in the country’s health facilities, which would be the necessary steps towards a positive practice environment (PPE) within our health centres.

The hope from DENOSA is that these improvements will have safety features so that health facilities are no longer places of fear for both patients and health workers, especially at night where security tends to be lacking and results in high incidents of workplace violence.

DENOSA also applauds the undertaking by Treasury to improve on financial management controls on health in the lead up to the NHI era, so that unnecessary blunders whereby non-payment of both supplies and personnel are addressed as a matter of urgency as these lead to chaos and demoralisation of health professionals in the country’s health facilities.

Examples here would include the non-payment of accruals owed to health workers in the Eastern Cape in the form of allowances from as far back as 2007 despite the fact that financial resources were allocated by government for this purpose.

Furthermore, we plead with the National health department that it ensures efficiency in HR management systems and planning of various provincial departments so that plans to address high vacancy rates as a result nurse shortages are implemented, especially when provinces have considerable number of qualified nurses who have to sit at home without being placed in positions due to budgetary constraints.

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