The Gauteng Health Department is refusing to explain why 320 students who qualified for the first year nursing course have been barred from enrolling.
A total of 1 020 students were informed last year that they had passed the interviews and psychometric tests to be admitted to the course, but were then told that the Department did not have the money for them to start.
Funds became available after an outcry, and 700 students have now started the course, but 320 students have been left out, again because of budgetary reasons.
On Tuesday last week the excluded students had an acrimonious meeting with Chief Nursing Director Johanna More who insulted them, calling their parents drunkards and stating that unlike their parents she paid for her own daughter’s studies (a voice recording of this is available on request).
Ms More’s uncouth language is totally uncalled for, and she should apologize and make amends by engaging meaningfully with the students.
I support the Young Nurses Indaba Trade Union (YNITU) who contend that the exclusions are unfair and they also point to other problems that lead to a high failure rate for nursing students.
Gauteng Health MEC Gwen Ramokgopa has said that 1000 nurses leave Gauteng hospitals every year, but she has failed to prioritize the training of nurses to replace them.
She should intervene and ensure that nursing students are not excluded because they can’t afford the fees.