Home News Kimberley Mental Health Hospital contract nurses demand their pay

Kimberley Mental Health Hospital contract nurses demand their pay

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The nurses stated that they were still expected to report for duty every day even though they had no money to pay for their rent or transport to work.

Contract nurses employed at the Kimberley Mental Health Hospital sat on a patch of grass outside the Premier’s Office earlier this week because they have not been paid since August. Picture: Danie van der Lith

CONTRACT nurses employed at the Kimberley Mental Health Hospital sat on a patch of grass outside the Premier’s Office earlier this week because they have not been paid since August.

They said that they were told that the Premier was out of town.

The nurses stated that they were still expected to report for duty every day even though they had no money to pay for their rent or transport to work.

“We were not informed about the reason for the delay in payment. We were promised contracts for permanent placement although no contracts have been presented to us.”

They added that they would also visit the offices of the MEC for Health as well as the Department of Labour.

DA spokesperson for health, Dr Isak Fritz, called upon the MEC for the Department of Health, Maruping Lekwene, to speed up the appointment of additional nurses to retain skills in the Province.

He stated that a number of young nurses who would complete their training at the end of the year were being head hunted to work in the Free State and the Western Cape.

“While we acknowledge that the department did appoint additional nursing staff earlier this year, there are still not enough nurses to ensure the optimal functioning of all health facilities.

“In effect nurses are overworked, burnt out and demotivated. The current additional burden of disease due to the Coronavirus-pandemic is adding to nurses’ workloads, causing a greater demand for extra nursing personnel.”

The Kimberley Mental Health Hospital. Picture: Danie van der Lith

Spokesperson for the office of the MEC, Lebogang Majaha, apologised for any delays.

“The appointment process for additional nurses on contract has been finalised. This will now be processed on the human resource systems and back pay will be sorted out. We apologise to the recruits for the delays experienced.”

Spokesperson for the Office of the Premier, Bronwyn Thomas-Abrahams, said the Premier was attending to work-related matters in Phokwane Municipality when the contract workers visited his office.

“The matter relating to contract workers has been escalated to the Department of Health for intervention and report back to this office.”

She added that the Premier had conducted numerous visits to several hospitals in the Province and would continue to conduct oversite visits at health facilities.

“The Premier also meets with the MEC, HOD and staff of the Department of Health on a regular basis to discuss matters. The Provincial Command Council also meets on a regular basis where matters relating to the Department of Health take centre stage.”