Johannesburg - Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane has called on nurses to restore professionalism in their career.
Addressing more than a 1000 nurses, during the Gauteng Nurses Imbizo at the Birchwood hotel on the Gauteng East Rand, Saturday, Premier Mokonyane said the conduct of some of the nurses leaves much to be desired.
The Imbizo comes amid media reports of ill-treatment of patients by nurses at public hospitals.
The Imbizo is aimed at exploring ways to improve the quality of care and the restoration of the dignity and integrity of the nursing profession. It would also explore issues of curriculum, ethics, development and training.
Premier Mokonyane said the profession does not have to be ridiculed because of few bad elements in the system.
"The Imbizo should mark a renewal, the beginnings of improvement in the way nurses work in public health institutions and clinics," she said.
She also committed government to improving the working conditions and infrastructure in the health care sector in the province.
"In the past, nurses were pillars of society, known for their caring nature and the dedication towards their profession; however the same cannot be said today.
"Whilst a lot has gone wrong, there are many committed nurses in the public sector and those need to be recognized," said Premier Mokonyane.
The premier further said there was an urgent need to recruit the retired nurses back into the profession. She said their knowledge and skills were vital for the mentoring of young nurses.
Premier Mokonyane also acknowledged that in the past government made mistakes by allowing officials without sufficient knowledge of hospitals needs to procure goods and services for them.
"It is important for medical equipments to be procured directly by hospitals rather than being centralised so as to avoid procurement of wrong and sub-standard equipments," she said.