KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Health Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu has urged nurses and other healthcare workers to treat patients better in the new year.
Simelane-Zulu was speaking at an event welcoming babies born on New Year’s Day at Portshepstone Hospital in the province.
“For us in the public health sector, this is also a time to reflect on who we are, what we stand for, why we are where we are, and why we do what we do. On why we are nurses, doctors, and allied health workers,” she said.
“It’s a time for us to go back to respecting and treating each and every healthcare user that’s in front of us the way we would like our own parents and family members to be treated,” she added before addressing nurses and other healthcare workers.
“To those behind the counter and on the operating table at our clinics, CHCs and hospitals, our clients are not a nuisance that must be treated with disdain, and spoken to anyhow. They’re not just ‘an irritation’ that left home and came to us because they had nothing better to do. They’re here because they are not well and they’ve come to us because we are all that they have,” pleaded Simelane-Zulu.
She addressed other bad behaviours that nurses have been accused of, such as delaying the start of their shifts and going to lunch at the same time thus leaving people to wait, indicting them of “failing our people.”
“When you make our fellow compatriots stand in long queues, in the scorching heat or in the rain, without making better alternative arrangements – because wena you have an air-conditioned office and medical aid, you are letting them down your own brothers and sisters, and stripping them of their own dignity. It is unacceptable, and we will not tolerate it.”
She concluded by reminding nurses and other healthcare workers that being in the health sector is not just a job, but a calling.
“It is not ‘work’, or a ‘dead-end job,’ but a vocation. That is how it must be seen. As something from which we should all derive a deep sense of satisfaction because we’re supposed to save lives and give hope to the hopeless out there,” she said.
Babies born on New Year’s Day
The MEC confirmed that as of 9 am on Saturday, the Province of KwaZulu- Natal had welcomed 33 New Year babies from healthcare facilities across the Province.
At the time of writing, the province has recorded the births of 14 boys and 19 girls and the number is expected to change as the day progresses.
“The province’s first New Year’s baby was born at Mosvold Hospital, under Umkhanyakude District, shortly after midnight. Interestingly, we have a set of twin girls who were born at Prince Mshiyeni Memorial Hospital, to a 25 year-old mother, Ms Ziyanda Madikizela. The first twin arrived at 3am, weighing in at 2.05kg; followed by the second one two minutes later, who weighed 2.36kg,” explained Simelane-Zulu.
Compiled by Kaunda Selisho