The Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union (IMATU) will join South Africans in celebrating International Nurses Day on 12 May 2015. “IMATU represents nurses and midwives in the municipal sector and today provides a platform to celebrate these healthcare practitioners and the contributions they make to our health sector on a daily basis,” said IMATU General Secretary, Johan Koen.
IMATU believes in realising the goal of access to quality health care for all South Africans, however in order to achieve this goal the Government must take the lead in providing effective strategies and implementation plans. The International Council of Nurses’ chosen theme this year, Nurses: A Force for Change: Care Effective, Cost Effective, is particularly important amidst ever-increasing healthcare costs and the growing need to combat preventable diseases. Growing healthcare costs, place increasing financial strain on our healthcare systems. Nurses, as the single largest profession in the health workforce, are well positioned to drive efficient service delivery and effective healthcare provision.
“While celebrating the good work that our nurses and midwives do, we believe that significant improvement within all levels of healthcare in South Africa must take place in order to achieve equitable quality healthcare for all. Our members in the public healthcare sector have flagged concerns relating to challenging working conditions, under resourced staff and ineffective management,” explained Koen.
IMATU believes that any health care reform that takes place going forward must focus on eradicating the current systemic problems in the public health system such as poor management, deteriorating infrastructure, equipment shortages, unavailability of prescription drugs, corruption and poor accountability.