Even PF cadres at the Daily Mail led by playboy Antony Mukwita agree that the hysterical firing of nurses was wrong and has led to massive suffering.
In a rare move, Anthony Mukwitwa has advised the PF to negotiate with nurses.
He wrote the following editorial advising his employers to be sensible for once:
RESOLVE IMPASSE WITH NURSES (PUBLISHED AS EDITORIAL IN DAILY MAIL)
REPORTS coming from the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) are painting a gloomy picture that UTH is facing a serious shortage of nurses following the dismissal of nurses at the referral hospital.
There have been complaints from some student nurses that they are overworking because of the shortage of nurses at the hospital.
Government, in line with its long-term plans, has already employed about 300 nurses, who are expected to be deployed.
We cannot agree more with Vice-President Dr Guy Scott, who says that there is need to expedite the process of re-engaging some of the dismissed nurses.
We are saying so because the situation at the country’s largest referral hospital is not very healthy going by the numerous complaints from the public about its operations.
UTH is supposed to have 1,200 nurses, but currently it has only 700 nurses, meaning there is a huge shortage of nursing staff at the hospital.
According to some media reports, the available nurses were overwhelmed with much workload and need more nurses to be employed so that there could be improved service delivery.
According to Dr Scott, there is no way a hospital would operate without nurses. It should be pointed out here that the Vice-President is right in every sense of the word because Government wants to improve service delivery and efficiency at UTH.
It is, therefore, imperative that the Public Service Commission expedites the re-engagement of the nurses so that the situation can normalise at the hospital to improve service delivery.
Dr Scott says the pace at which the Public Service Commission is attending to appeals by some dismissed nurses and those who were wrongly dismissed has not impressed him.
“I am not impressed by the slow rate at which we have dealt with the appeals. I am going to have a word with the Public Service Commission to see if they can accelerate the process,” he said.
We are, therefore, appealing to the Public Service Management Division to speed up the process of hearing the nurses’ appeals so the public could have better attention at the UTH.
Much as we are concerned with the insufficient number of nurses, we are relieved to hear Minister of Health Joseph Kasonde saying that, according to advice from experts, the process of hearing nurses’ appeals would be completed before the end of this week.
This would be most welcome because in the last couple of weeks, people that have visited the UTH have complained of shortage of nurses to attend to them.
The only relief that has been forthcoming to patients at UTH are student nurses who have been doing practical work at the institution.
We, nonetheless, advise the nurses who will be re-engaged to learn a lesson from this mistake: that they should not engage in illegal strikes when they are able to resolve their grievances by means of dialogue.
In future, nurses should liaise with their leaders and present their problems to them for resolution in lieu of wildcat strikes and taking things for granted even when, in the current case, Government had promised that it would address the salary anomalies – the cause of their illegal strike.
However, now that Government is giving some of the nurses a hearing, we look forward to better operations at UTH and are sure the nurses have, on their part, learnt a lesson from their misdemeanour.