Message from DENOSA General Secretary Thembeka Gwagwa
A resounding success of The Second South African Nurses’ Conference, 2013
It is our right to care
Nurses the brain cells of the healthcare system
The three-day 2nd South African Nurses Conference, which ended on Friday at ICC Durban, was a resounding success as more than 1000 nurses from all corners graced the event with their presence and deliberated on pertinent issues concerning practice environment; leadership; policy, research and innovation; education and training; professional development. Speakers and presenters delivered the most insightful and necessary messages under the five themes on the day (Some presentations are now available under ‘Presentations’) in the breakaway sessions, namely: Practice Environment, Leadership, Education and Training, Policy, research and innovation, and Professional development.
DENOSA Professional Institute (DPI) still receives positive messages and constructive feedback from some of the attendees of the conference. The agreement from all those who attended the conference is that this information-sharing platform is necessary for the growth and development of the profession. The collegial atmosphere at the venue of the conference was outstanding as issues were being looked at from all angles of the profession. What was more rewarding for the conference was the united force that nurses showed at the conference, which gave a fruitful meaning to the slogan: Nurses united will never be defeated.
If anyone were to take critical learning from the conference, it would be that the constant collaboration of all stakeholders in nursing will only take this noble profession higher and higher. It was all agreed that nursing is the brain cell of the healthcare system, and no longer the ‘backbone’ or ‘the heartbeat’.
Here is a summary of what happened at the conference:
Guest speakers and presenters
Minister of Public Service and Administration, Lindiwe Sisulu, addressed the conference on the first day, where she delivered a frank message to nurses on conditions of service where she touched on, among other issues:
- Previous wage negotiations which resulted in the multi-term agreement, and how DENOSA was the most difficult negotiator, but that showed care.
- Moonlighting and how it affects quality of public service and leads to conflict of interest (moonlighting in a broader sense; and Minister mentioned the Public Service Management and Administration Bill that aims to bar closer relatives of public servants from benefitting in tenders with government or consulting for government)
- Service Charter and how it aims to professionalize the public sector as a commitment from employees and employer.
- OSD and how it was not managed the way it should have been, and its review.
In his address on the last day, Minister Motsoaledi, highlighted the following:
- That nurses are the backbone of health, and primary healthcare is the heartbeat of health
- The importance of the theme of the conference (“It is our right to care”) and how the nurses pledge signifies this and how it is an oath that nurses take as a contract between themselves and the patient, not someone (or politician) who sits in the office and who, when he has not done her/his work for nurses, does not get affected when nurses are on strike.
- NHI and how it is a way to fix our primary healthcare.
- His commitment to implementing the Nursing Strategy and emphasizing that government is to supply white uniform.
- The fact that the appointment of a Chief Nursing Officer for the first time in the history of South Africa is completed, and his plea that provinces should appoint provincial chief nursing officers where none has been appointed.
- The completion of skills-need assessment exercise in all districts at a primary healthcare level, and that the outcome of the exercise has been factored into the department’s submission to Treasury for budgeting purposes for the next financial year.
Nurses at the conference had an opportunity to ask questions to Minister Sisulu during a question-and-answer session, which was facilitated by Tim Modise. On the last day of the conference, delegates got an opportunity to ask questions to Minister Motsoaledi. Both questions are attached, which have been sent to the two departments. Answers to these questions will be published on the conference website, DENOSA website, social media platforms as well as on the Nursing Update and they will be sent to all professional societies.
A formidable line-up of speakers and presenters set the tone in providing relevant content for conference attendees to discuss. Discussions and suggested solutions during the breakaway sessions, which began on Day Two (17 October) formed part of the conference declaration (attached below).
We have attached the programme for the day and the line-up of speakers and presenters. Presentations are currently being uploaded on the site, as soon as they are available online, we will communicate.
The Third South African Nurses’ Conference, 2015
With this conference having been a resounding success, the next conference has to live up to the expectation of all those in the nursing profession. The dates and venues will be communicated soon.
Message from Dr Daphney Nozizwe Conco
|ABOUT THE CONFERENCE
DENOSA Professional Institute (DPI), the wing of the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) focused on the development of the profession, convenes biannual South African Nurses’ Conference. The event brings together nurses and midwives from various sectors and backgrounds, to deliberate, reflect and discuss action plans for the future in order to fulfill their role in strengthening the healthcare system and advancing health for all people in South Africa. DPI’s main intention is to ensure that nurses and midwives are kept abreast of changes affecting their profession and that their service remains relevant to the needs of the South African population. The intention of organizing a national scientific conference for nurses and midwives was to create a space where they would do a critical assessment of their participation in health policy. While the overarching theme is ‘South African Nurses participating in health policies’, each conference has a focus. The First South African Nurses’ Conference, 2011 theme was ‘Delivering Quality Care’, the Second South African Nurses’ conference, 2013 theme was ‘It is our right to care’, and the Third South African Nurses’ Conference, 2015 theme will look into the gap between theory and practice.
The 2013 Durban DPI Declaration on Nursing and Midwifery for South Africa was adopted by more than 1 000 nurses, midwives, managers, academics, and educators working in: clinical and community healthcare facilities; colleges; universities; government; non-governmental organisations; labour; and the private sector, as delegates, participants, presenters, and discussants at the Second South African Nurses’ Conference, 2013, with the theme: ‘It is our right to care’ organised by the DENOSA Professional Institute (DPI), at the Durban International Convention Centre, on the 16th to the 18th of October 2013.
18 October 2013
We, more than 1 000 nurses, midwives, managers, academics, and educators from all nine provinces working in: clinical and community healthcare facilities; colleges; universities; government; non-governmental organisations; labour; and the private sector, as delegates, participants, presenters, and discussants at the Second South African Nurses’ Conference, 2013, with the theme: ‘It is our right to care’ organised by the DENOSA Professional Institute (DPI), at the Durban International Convention Centre, on the 16th to the 18th of October 2013, in solidarity, unanimously endorse this 2013 Durban DPI Declaration on Nursing and Midwifery for South Africa.
- That attainment of the highest achievable standard of health is a fundamental human right.
- Gaps continue to exist even though considerable progress has been made in achieving a strategic direction for nursing and midwifery in South Africa through the National Nursing Strategy 2013 and the establishment of the Chief Nursing Office.
- The Public Service Charter to ensure professionalism will uplift ethical standards, lead to an improvement of nurses’ and midwives’ moral, and ensure values-driven professional practice based on honesty, integrity and respect.
- We are cognisant of the fact that as a profession (nursing and midwifery) in South Africa, we do not exist in isolation, that cross country, regional and international collaborations are of the essence.
- We applaud the work done by the DPI, bringing together nurses and midwives from various sectors and backgrounds, to deliberate, reflect and discuss action plans for the future in order to fulfil their role in strengthening the healthcare system and advancing health for all people in South Africa.
Practice and workforce
- In order to reach targets set for achieving Millennium Developmental Goals (MDGs), the significant contribution that the professional group of nursing and midwifery, as an essential category of human resources for health, makes towards achievement of desired health outcomes must be recognised.
- Nurses and midwives require an enabling and safe practice environment with adequate resources (human, financial and material) for enhancement of workforce productivity and effective retention of personnel. It is the responsibility of employers, public and private, to provide and maintain such an environment.
- Production of nurses and midwives must be informed by staffing norms and should address existing gaps in skills mix.
- Government, professional organizations, civil society, and private sector to work together in strengthening of leadership and management capacity at all levels of nursing.
- We commit to consolidate solidarity amongst all members of the profession.
- Educational institutions for nurses and midwives must be strengthened, through staff development; promotion and advancement of research; relevant curricular development and innovations; and functional infrastructure, to enable production of competent nursing and midwifery professionals to meet the health needs of the country.
- We commit to active participation in public policy processes including initiating, planning, formulation and implementation of health related policies.
- We further commit to implementing public policies in all our communities throughout the nation, by adjusting our personal and professional practices, working towards achieving developmental goals guided by the National Development Plan of South Africa 2030.
- Research evidence must be used as the basis for midwifery and nursing practice and formulation of health related public policy.
- Researchers, managers, educators and academics commit themselves to work towards translation of knowledge into the professional practice by actively engaging with one another and with practitioners to narrow the research-practice gap.
- Research capacity and ethical conduct of research for nursing and midwifery must be enhanced by facilitating contribution to and improved access to the local, provincial, national, regional and global knowledge networks.
- We commit to strengthening collaboration and networking among regional and national nursing organisations and associations, to facilitate sharing of experience; determining best practices; and building capacity to enhance and influence policy and action towards health equity.
We pledge to work collectively towards fulfilment of this declaration’s recommendations by collaborating and working in partnership with government, healthcare organisations, universities, colleges, non-governmental organisations, communities and the private sector at the local, provincial, national and regional levels to strengthen nursing and midwifery to provide quality health care for all.
Downloedable Declaration on Nursing and Midwifery for South Africa
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