International Nurses' Day | Western Cape Government


International Nurses' Day

11 May 2006
"The wellbeing of our patients in our facilities receive the highest priority and the treatment they receive must be compared with the best in the world. This is only possible though, if we create circumstances wherein our nurse personnel can deliver service of the highest quality." said Minister Uys.

Minister Uys paid tribute to the unselfish task nurses deliver daily, during a gathering of nurse personnel. "I know that the pressure on nurses increases every day, but I am comforted by the positive inclination of our nurses across the entire province." said Uys.

"The Western Cape is also, like the rest of the world, suffering from a serious shortage of sufficient nurses, but every day we are busy working on creative and purposeful solutions." said Uys.

Minister Uys announced that the Department of Health made good progress to create a Directorate for Nurse Services and that the post will be advertised soon. The Directorate will be responsible for advice to the department and the coordination of nurse related issues. There will also be focused on the concerns dealing with service provision.

Minister Uys also mentioned other areas where they are working hard to improve the working environments of nurses:

  • Frequent meetings with a representative nurses' managing committee where matters like overtime payment and rare skills subsidies are being dealt with.
  • The upgrading and extending of facilities to create a friendly working environment like the large projects currently taking place at the hospitals in George, Worcester, Paarl, Stikland and Vredenburg.
  • The awarding of more bursaries for nurse students. This year 2,948 bursaries were awarded.
  • The replacing and upgrading of equipment. In the current financial year the department spent R174m on new medical equipment.
  • Nurse welfare programs are in place to cope with pressure and stress, to give emotional support and even to help with household problems.

Minister Uys said that on national level, he is part of a process that has progressed very well to look at the improvement of professional nurses' salaries. It is time that our nurses are better remunerated for the unselfish service they deliver.

"There is no doubt that enough nurses can be directly equalised to better treatment of patients and thus lower casualties. I am appealing to young people to consider a career in nursing. This is an exciting career with many facets and offers the opportunity for promotions, especially if you enjoy working with people." concluded Uys.

Issued by:
Communications Directorate of the Western Cape
Department of Health
Faiza Steyn
Director Communications
Tel: +27 21 483 3235

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