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Tragedy: Unemployment drives male nurse to suicide, union outraged

DENOSA says the Department of Health should shoulder the blame for the nurse committing suicide, due to being unemployed


Image via Adobe Stock

The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) in the Eastern Cape has expressed shock over the passing of a male nurse. It is understood that the man committed suicide because he was unemployed.

According to the union, this is because the Department of Health failed to renew their COVID-19 contracts.

“The news is circulating on social media of a male nurse from Tsolo, under Mhlontlo Local Municipality, who was part of the contracted nurses and whose contracts were never renewed. He was part of a joint march by hundreds of unemployed nurses and community service nurses in March this year to the Department’s provincial offices in Bhisho to demand their reemployment after their contracts were not renewed,” DENOSA in the Eastern Cape said in a statement on Thursday, 19 May 2022.

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DENOSA isn’t holding back and says the Department of Health should take the blame for the man taking his own life.

“DENOSA believes the Department of Health in the province should shoulder the blame for the death of this nurse because the gross shortage of nurses in the province’s healthcare facilities makes it impossible to understand how there could still be nurses who remain unemployed,” the union said.

The man had apparently expressed to his friends that he couldn’t cope with not being employed.

The union has bemoaned the socio-economic conditions which have resulted in the tragedy. It says the Eastern Cape is battling a high uneployment rate, which was worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic.

DENOSA adds that it has long been engaging government on joblessness in the province, including in the health sector.

“Some nurses have even gone to as far as the National Department of Health offices in Pretoria. The little progress in as far as employing healthcare workers so far has been the release of 2900 posts, which is a drop in the ocean considering that almost 9000 healthcare workers were flushed from the province’s healthcare system recently”


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