Nursing exodus hits E.Cape
The lure of foreign currency combined with tough working conditions and poor salaries is contributing to the exodus of South African nurses from our health services. The BBC recently reported that South Africa rates second after the Philippines as top supplier of nurses to the UK. Health-e visited the Eastern Cape to find out more about the shortage of nursing staff.
Translation: Ukutsalwa yimali yamazwe aphesheya, iinkonzo ezingentle zokusebenza imirholo engancumisiyo ezo zezinye zezinto ezikhokelela ekuhambeni kwabongizai kwizibhedlele zika rhulumente. Kwingxelo yayo yophando iBBC ithi uMzantsi Afrika uphuma isibini emva kwe Philipine neskuqaleni kuluhlu lwamazwe anabongikazi abasebenza eUnited Kingdom eNgilane. UThandeka Teyise utyelele eMpuma koloni ukuyokuzivela ngokunqongophala kwabongikazi.
THANDEKA: Ubongikazi butshintshe ngeendlela ezininzi ukususela kwimo yokuziphatha kude kube ngathi kuthi kratya ukunqongophala kwabongikazi utsho uMatron, Kholiswa Tsipa wase Makiwane.
Translation: The morale and standards of nursing have deteriorated says Matron Kholiswa Tsipa of Cecelia Makiwane. She says shortage of nurses is of great concern.
MATRON TSIPA: Ngexesha elingaphambili ndisasukela ukuba ndiphuma kwitraining kude kube kulaminyaka ke yokuba sifikelele kubu professional nurse though ke besihamba kwiindawo ngendawo i-shortage engaka noko bengakhange ibekhona bekusebenzeka kakuhle sikwazi uku fit(isha) kwii departments zonke noko izikhalo zingabi ngaka. Ku worse ngoku ngenene nge shortage inkulu lonto kengoku yenza ibengathi kengoku nomgangatho wethu ungafuna ukuzika kuba besingaske kuthi kanti singabantu abayekelelayo kodwa ke kuba sisazi ukuba asiyekeleli we are trying our best sithi raise ne morale esezi low zama nurse noko angayekeleli.
Translation: During the times when I was still a student nurse entering into the nursing profession, we used to travel around many places but we have never come across such shortages of nurses. We used to fit in well in different departments. Things are worse now and the standards have deteriorated but we try our best to raise the morale of nurses.
THANDEKA: Ungathi ke mhlawumbi yintoni unobangela wokuba bamnke abongikazi kwizibedlele zikarhulumente?
Translation: What is the reason for nurses leaving the public hospitals?
MATRON TSIPA: Ii-conditions of services azinelisi ngalento yokuqala ishortage of nurses yenye yezinto ezinganelisiyo babone ke nabanye into yokuba mabahambe kuba i-workload inkulu and bekhalaza nangeezemali ezithi zingahambi kakuhle.
Translation: Working conditions are not satisfactory and also the shortage of nursing personnel discourages nurses and they decide to leave. Low salaries are another reason.
THANDEKA: Ingaba bangaphi oonesi enithe nabaqesha kuleminyaka mibini idlulileyo bebangaphi anisafuna ukubaqesha? Bebangaphi enithe naphulukana nabo.?
Translation: How many nurses have you employed in the past two years? And how many have you lost?
MATRON TSIPA: Kule minyaka mibini sikhe sathatha ngo October ka 2002 i-forty saphinda ngo April ka 2003 i-twenty those ke are professional nurses sathatha i-28 ye assistant nurses ayisincedanga nto loonto kwinumbers ebesezimnkile kuthi ibe yi-drop in an ocean. Njengokuba ndithetha nawe nje kuhanjwa oko koko. Inkulu yona i-exodus yabantu abasishiyayo apha esibhedleleni sethu. Abathe bahamba kuleminyaka mibini ba over 80 besishiya ke ngokuya kwi greener pastures kooma United Kindom nakwezinye ke iindawo eziphesheya.
Translation: We employed about 40 nurses in October of 2002 and in April of 2003 we employed 20. They were all professional nurses. We added 28 assistant nurses but that was a drop in an ocean because it didn’t help at all because lots of nurses have left. There’s a big exodus of people leaving our hospital. About 80 nurses have left us in the past two years in search of greener pastures abroad in countries like United Kingdom and elsewhere
THANDEKA: Ingaba ke nenzani mhlawumbi ukunqanda oko?
Translation: What interventions are in place to address such problem?
MATRON TSIPA: Kunzima ukuthi abantu mabangayi kwii ndawo ezine greener pastures asinakubanqanda asinawo umthetho wokunqanda abantu. Siyamane ke sicela ukuba masandiselwe i-staff establishment singami ndaweni inye kodwa ke urhulumente ebekhe wathetha ukuba amanesi wona anee critical posts akufanelekanga ukuba siyekelele ukuba sithathe siyazama ke ukuba kuqeshwe njengokuba singu critical posts njengangoku singanqwena ukufumana amanesi oo-professional nurses bona bafike close to two hundred abanokuthi babe banokuqeshwa at least to curb le shortage.
Translation: It’s difficult to dictate to people not to go to places where greener pastures are. We cannot prevent them from leaving, as there’s no law at place that prevents them from leaving. The government has said that there are those critical posts where there’s a need for new staff intake so we are trying to get more professional nurses. We need up to two hundred nurses that can close the gap.
THANDEKA: USister Nonzwakazi Motsitsidi ongomnye woosister abakhulu eMtata General uthi ugawulayo naye unefuthe elivakalayo alenzayo emsebenzini omninzi wabongikazi.
Translation: At Umtata General Hospital, Senior Sister Nonzwakazi Motsitsidi says HIV/AIDS is having a direct impacting on the nurse’s workload.
SISTER MOTSITSIDI: Le ndawo iyagcwala kakhulu ngoba kaloku sine over load ngoku yomsebenzi apha eMedical Out Patient ngenxa yento yokuba onke ama patient a-HIV abonwa apha onke so ya increase(a) i-over load of work lonto leyo and abanye beza sizokuba hydarate(a) abanye siyaba admit(a) abanye beza neecomplications kunjalo ke kodwa ke ndizakuthi kuthanda ukuba bhetelana sinazo nee retired nurses ezikhona ngoku ekuthiwe mazizokusincedisa for a short while. Noko ndizakuthi lonto yenze ukuba izinto zibe bhetele kakhulu. Kwagqityelwa kudala ukuqashwa ama nurse. Ama nurse akasaqasheki., simbalwa kakhulu compared ke nabantu esibasebenzayo. Kanti ke noogqirha banqabile sithi sisasebenza nabo uve ugqirha sekusithiwa uhambile uyemnka.
Translation: This area is always full because of the over load here at Out Patients. HIV/AIDS patients are examined here and that has increased our workload. Others come here for hydration, admission and others because of complications. Because now we get help form our retired nurses things are improving. It’s not easy to employ nurses and we are just a few staff trying to see many people.
THANDEKA: Yintoni abakhala ngayo abongikazi abahambileyo?
Translation: What is the nurses’ main complaint?
SISTER MOTSITSIDI: Abanye bakhala nge overload of work, umsebenzi mninzi.
Translation: Some complain about the overload of work. There’s too much work.
THANDEKA: Ezinye zezizathu zokumka kwamanesi kwizibhedlele zika rhulumente zimeko ekuxelengwa phantsi kwazo nokunqongophala kwezinto zokusebenza.
Translation: Another reason why nurses leave public hospitals is the frustrating working conditions.
SISTER MOTSITSIDI: Asinazifestile apha njengokuba ubilile nawe ngoku, ushushu uyayiva ukuba i-fresh air ayikho, so there’s i-poor ventilation kule building yethu kodwa ke ngenxa yezi fans ndiyabona ukuba sithanda ukuphucuka noko ngoku. Amayeza akhona and ayafumaneka first class.
Translation: We don’t have windows here that is why you’re also sweating. It’s hot and there’s no fresh air. There’s poor ventilation in this building although now we have fans and air conditioners and things are improving.
THANDEKA:Isibhedlele sase Mtata siye saqasha abongikazi abathatha umhlala phantsi ukuvala sikhewu sokunqongophala kwabongikazi. Bona abongikazi abasebenza khona isigxinya baye bancedise ngokungena xa besezi ofini.
Translation: Umtata General Hospital has resorted in employing retired nurses to fill up the gap and make sure that patients are cared for. The existing staff is encouraged to work overtime. Sister Motsitsidi says now things are improving bit by bit.
SISTER MOTSITSIDI: I-equipment ibinqabile kodwa ke ngoku ndiyancoma izinto ziyabakho. Ukusukela lulonyaka urhulumente wathi amanesi mawenze i-overtime that is i-Moonlighting so la moonlighting ithande ukuwehlisa i-overload yomsebenzi kubhetele kakhulu siyayincoma naleyo.Mna kule yam I-Unit inye i-nurse ehambileyo yawela, basahleli apha kuthi mhlawumbe bazinikezele kulomsebenzi and ngoku siyawuthanda ngova kaloku enye into esiphuculayo simane sifumana ishort courses zokuyokufunda i-skills kwalapha esibhedlele siyafunda kakhulu lonto isenze ukuba umgangatho wethu unyuke.
Translation: There was a shortage of equipment, but now things are much better as we are getting more equipment. This year the government has announced that nurses can moonlight and work overtime. This system has helped to reduce the burden of overload. In my unit only one person has left for overseas, the rest it seems are dedicated to doing their jobs. They are still working at the hospital. We have grown to love our job better because of short courses on new skills in nursing that we attend. This has made us proud and boost confidence as a result our standard of work is improving.
E-mail Thandeka Teyise