It is always a good idea to start the new year off on a good note, and that is what he KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Health Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu is aiming to do.
Speaking at an event welcoming New Year’s Day babies at Portshepstone Hospital, KZN, she urged nurses and healthcare workers to treat patients and clients better in the new year.

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“For us in the public health sector, this is also a time to reflect on who we are, what we stand for, why we are where we are, and why we do what we do. On why we are nurses, doctors, and allied health workers,” she said addressing the guests and staff.

“It’s a time for us to go back to respecting and treating each and every healthcare user that’s in front of us the way we would like our own parents and family members to be treated.”

She encouraged even those not dealing with patients directly, to keep things professional at all times.
“To those behind the counter and on the operating table at our clinics, CHCs and hospitals, our clients are not a nuisance that must be treated with disdain, and spoken to anyhow,” she said.
“They’re not just ‘an irritation’ that left home and came to us because they had nothing better to do. They’re here because they are not well and they’ve come to us because we are all that they have.”

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She pointed out some negative behaviours brought forward by concerned clients such as lateness, and going for lunch during crutial times.
“When you make our fellow compatriots stand in long queues, in the scorching heat or in the rain, without making better alternative arrangements, because you have an air-conditioned office and medical aid, you are letting them down your own brothers and sisters, and stripping them of their own dignity. It is unacceptable, and we will not tolerate it,” she said.
“It is not ‘work’, or a ‘dead-end job,’ but a vocation. That is how it must be seen. As something from which we should all derive a deep sense of satisfaction because we’re supposed to save lives and give hope to the hopeless out there.”