No admissions as nurses take to streets
MBABANE - Admission of patients into the Mbabane Government Hospital had to be suspended yesterday as nurses embarked on their strike to force govern-ment to effect an increase on their salaries.
The countrywide nurses’ two day strike dubbed ‘wafa wafa’ began in earnest yesterday with nurses joining teachers and civil servants in their demand for a 4.5 per cent salary increment among other demands.
According to sources at the hospital, the notice that there would be no admissions at the hospital was pinned on the wall on Tuesday by the Senior Medical Officer.
As such, patients who had to be admitted were turned back while some were discharged on Tuesday to maintain a manageable patient load, sources said.
Nurses vowed yesterday to intensify their protest today and bring everything to a standstill in all the departments that were barely operating yesterday.
The nurses, under the Swaziland Democratic Nurses Union (SWADNU), threatened to ground the outpatient department by ensuring that there were no workers issuing cards.
To mitigate against the unavailability of nurses, nurses from His Majesty’s Correctional Services (HMCS), University of Swaziland nursing students, sisters and senior officers held the fort in the wards yesterday.
Some of the admitted patients who were interviewed in their wards alleged that their bandages had not been changed since morning because of the strike.
Notably, few patients came to the hospital yesterday and some people opined that the reports that there would be a shutdown discouraged them from coming.
There was a heavy presence of police and correctional officers in the hospital. The striking nurses were confined to the area next to the dispensary.
In the company of civil servants under the National Public Services and Allied Workers Union (NAPSAWU), the nurses later left the hospital premises to picket outside the Ministry of Public Service.
The executive of the union joined the protesters after 2pm.
The Secretary General of SWADNU, Nkosinathi Kunene, told the protesters that the strike action was going well in the other hospitals despite some members reportedly working.
He said the action would intensify today.
However, the picketing outside the ministry did not last as the police ordered the protesters back into the hospital, where they were contained for more than two hours and not allowed to leave the dispensary until the march was called off for the day.
Correctional nurses roped in
MBABANE - Mbabane Government Hospital Customer Care officer Mthembeni Maseko confirmed that admission into the hospital’s wards had been affected by the nurses’ strike.
She said only patients in critical conditions were admitted to the hospital as a result. Maseko urged government to address the impasse soon before a total shutdown occurs.
She said so far they had reinforced with nurses from the Correctional Services.
"It’s just a skeleton that could be crippled if the nurses continue with their action," she said.
Nurses’ mass meeting tomorrow
MBABANE - Nurses have called a mass meeting for tomorow.
Secretary General of the Swaziland Democratic Nurses Union (SWADNU) Nkosinathi Kunene made the announcement yesterday during the executive branch meetings as the strike action began.
Kunene said the mass meeting would be held at Greater Alpha conference centre in Manzini.
As agreed at the mass meeting held on Monday, the nurses resolved to stage a two-day strike action and convene a meeting to evaluate and strategise. Kunene urged members to attend the meeting without fail.
Lelive lemaswati mbamba mbamba liyaphi ? Nyalo kufuneka kufe batali betfu latibhedlela ngoba phela nabo-nurse are joining the strike. Bothishela bayatelega akufundziswa etikolweni and the worst of all emaphoyisa adubula sive, ashaye bantfwana betfu (a St Marks student was assaulted by police). Labanye abafuni kutsatsa i-leave noma ku-retire cause bafuna imali kepha kutsiwa Live lite imali umnotfo uwile. Hope we are not taking the wrong route to success maswati lamahle. Ngiyabonga
Jul 19, 2012, 10:30 AM, Anonymous
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