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Protesting nursing staff at Lebowakgomo Hospital on Monday.

Nurses shut down hospital


Nursing staff at Lebowakgomo Hospital have been protesting outside the premises since Monday, demanding that the recently appointed acting Nurse Manager step down as she allegedly does not have adequate qualifications or experience for the position.
The employee in question apparently lacks both the experience and academic credentials required by the position yet was appointed to act in it for a second time in 12 months. It is claimed that Anna Mokoena’s appointment was politically influenced.
The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (Denosa) in Limpopo has urged the facility’s management to accept responsibility for the shutdown caused by the perceived parachuting of Mokoena, an ordinary professional nurse with general nursing and midwifery qualifications, when there are better qualified assistant managers at the hospital. The nursing staff have vowed to shut down operations at the hospital if her appointment is not rescinded.
Denosa Provincial Organiser, Jacob Molepo explained that Mokoena is a junior nurse who had acted from June to end of November last year and is now given a second opportunity to do so. He stated that organised labour and the hospital’s nursing population was against this perceived political decision.
Nursing staff are demanding that politics be put aside and quality nursing be respected and those adequately qualified nurses with at least additional nursing education, administration and management qualifications as part of their experience are given an opportunity to assist as the institution is fortunate to have such staff.
“Denosa and the nurses are demanding fairness because the hospital is an academic institution and, for the sake of its reputation, it must be led by health professionals with the necessary skills and experience. We warn that nursing care will be severely affected and thousands of people will suffer if the decision is not reversed as nurses are revolting. The feeling of nurses is that politics and political connections are being rewarded with positions ahead of the interest of quality nursing care at the institution,” he explained.
Denosa further called on the hospital management to start doing things fairly, and for the Health Department to intervene if the institution refuses to acknowledge the crisis it brings to the institution because of unfair and partisan decision.
Department of Health Spokesperson, Thabiso Teffo said nurs­es were urged to go back to work to av­oid harsh consequences. He said: “Nurses who are unhappy with the way things are done should quit their job and find employment elsewhere.”

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Residents of Lebowakgomo waiting to gain access to the premises of Lebowakgomo Hospital on Monday morning when striking nursing staff had closed the gate.