ARV shortage on the East Rand - DENOSA

Union says a number of nurses have had to turn away patients due to medicine shortages in Gauteng clinics

DENOSA still concerned about short supply of medication in some health centres

Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) is still concerned about the shortage of supply of medication in some of the Gauteng's health centres, as this may prove to be counterproductive to the country's progress in fighting the scourge of diseases such as HIV/AIDS. 

A number of nurses have to either turn back patients or convey the bad news to them that there are not enough medications, which often triggers anger among communities. Most concerning to DENOSA about the shortage of medications in some clinics is the possibility that the body system of some patients may develop resistance to crucial and life-saving medication such as ARVs.

In the East Rand, for example, some patients have gone for a week without taking ARVs due to shortage of supply of medication. This is not a positive practice environment for both health professionals and patients, which forms part of the Ministerial Priorities, and it has the potential to undo all the progress that the country has made in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

Enough and timeous supply of medication and equipment to healthcare centres is what the country's healthcare system depends on in order to make inroads in improving health conditions of its citizens. In Tembisa hospital, there has been ongoing shortage of toilet papers to such that one of the health professionals there had to buy tissues for the facility out of his own pocket as nurses and doctors cannot treat patients without having these necessities at hand.

These shortages not only affect the standing of the health department and the appreciation of its progress; nurses, as the frontline and face of any health system, have also get to be labeled as uncaring professionals that deprive patients of medication whereas they are not supplied.  

We hope these matters are looked into by the Public Protector as part of her investigation into health, as there won't be any positive outcomes for patient treatment in an environment that doesn't have enough supply of medication.  

Statement issued by the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA), July 4 2013


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