Category Archives: Health Care and Safety

Integrated School Health Programme provides learners access to healthcare

President Jacob Zuma unveiled the Integrated School Health Programme (ISHP) with the purpose of ensuring that pupils have access to primary health care services.

Presented under the concept, ‘Taking responsibility for our learners’ health and wellbeing’, the programme  ensures that obstacles to successful learning is going to be something of the past.

A large number of young boys and girls have to deal with difficulties to optimal health and development as a consequence of the HIV and Aids epidemic, violence along with injuries and non-communicable diseases.

In accordance with the Presidency, enhancing of school health services via the ISHP can be described as an essential component of the primary health care restructuring strategy within the Department of Health and the Care and Support for Teaching and Learning (CSTL) Programme within the Department of Basic Education.

The Department of Social Development is going to be in charge of providing assistance to learners to gain access to services, especially where financial barriers prevent accessing services. In addition to providing transportation to health facilities wherever necessary.

The ISHP will provide products and services which includes:

  •  eyesight, hearing and oral hygiene;
  •  immunisation (for foundation and intermediate phases);
  •  deworming (for foundation and intermediate phases);
  •  treatment of minor ailments, particularly skin conditions (all phases);
  •  therapy for sexual and reproductive health problems and provide  services by way of mobile health units
  •  preventing drug and alcohol use and abuse.

The ISHP additionally is designed to separately evaluate each and every student once in the course of each one of the four educational phases. Supplemental personal evaluations are going to be provided to all learners who happen to be repeating grades, at the request of an educator and / or parent or even the learner him/herself.

The Presidency revealed that the assessment during the foundation phase will focus primarily on identifying health barriers to learning, as well as identifying children who have or are at risk for long-term health, psychological or any other issues.

“Although the ISHP initially targets the most disadvantaged schools, the plan is that it eventually reaches all learners,” said the Presidency.

The National Health Insurance  is geared towards accomplishing universal coverage of health services in a  cost-effective and equitable way for all South Africans in a fashion that will guarantee quality of health care in the public service.



Nursing opportunity for South Africa’s jobless

In an attempt to make sure that far more out of work individuals receive an opportunity to get into the employment market, the Gauteng Department of Labour, as a result of its Public Employment Service Unit, has joined up with with the Gauteng Department of Health in order to recruit applicants for nursing options available.

All those showing an interest have only one month to get their applications in. The due date is 29 April 2011, thereafter all applicants who fulfill the academic prerequisites are going to be evaluated.

The group of applicants with the most potential are going to be referred to the Gauteng Department of Health for the last selection stage of interviews.

As outlined by Mishack Magakwe, the provincial labour department’s spokesperson, the actual collaboration involving the two departments will see in excess of 800 out of work individuals signed up for a four-year nursing diploma course which will consist of theoretical and practical training in various hospitals in and around Gauteng province.

Registered out of work individuals are processed against set requirements produced by Gauteng’s Department of Health, and those that successfully pass the primary screening process will most certainly be further evaluated by Department of Labour career counsellors to ascertain their unique potential.

Assisting the jobless

The particular undertaking has been in development ever since January 2010, when the two government departments hosted their first joint meeting. The Department of Health offered its authorization to recruit individuals in April 2010.

As a result of the project’s initial good results, the Department of Labour was in fact requested to recruit for a second time with regard to 2012’s intake.

Last year’s recruitment drive saw 742 successful applicants entering the four-year nursing diploma, which began in January 2011. Students will be given a salary when participating in training.

The actual venture is designed to help unemployed individuals signed up with the Department of Labour’s database to gain access to placement opportunities.

The whole process of signing up unemployed individuals, subsequent recruitment and assessments, in addition to registration of vacancies, is provided at 26 departmental labour centres within the Gauteng region and their services and assistance is rendered free of charge.



For more information, contact Gauteng Department of Labour and Gauteng Department of Health directly



Career Guide to Nursing


Source: BuaNews,,,


Nursing and Psychiatric Aides

Significant Points

* Numerous job openings and excellent job opportunities are expected.
* Most jobs are in nursing and residential care facilities and in hospitals.
* A high school diploma is required for many jobs; specific qualifications vary by occupation, State laws, and work setting.
* This occupation is characterized by modest entry requirements, low pay, high physical and emotional demands, and limited advancement opportunities.

Nature of the Work

Nursing and psychiatric aides help care for physically or mentally ill, injured, disabled, or infirm individuals in hospitals, nursing care facilities, and mental health settings. Nursing aides and home health aides are among the occupations commonly referred to as direct care workers, due to their role in working with patients who need long-term care. The specific care they give depends on their specialty.

Nursing aides, also known as nurse aides, nursing assistants, certified nursing assistants, geriatric aides, orderlies, or hospital attendants, provide hands-on care and perform routine tasks under the supervision of nursing and medical staff. Specific tasks vary, with aides handling many aspects of a patient’s care. They often help patients to eat, dress, and bathe. They also answer calls for help, deliver messages, serve meals, make beds, and tidy up rooms. Aides sometimes are responsible for taking a patient’s temperature, pulse rate, respiration rate, or blood pressure. They also may help provide care to patients by helping them get out of bed and walk, escorting them to operating and examining rooms, or providing skin care. Some aides help other medical staff by setting up equipment, storing and moving supplies, and assisting with some procedures. Aides also observe patients’ physical, mental, and emotional conditions and report any change to the nursing or medical staff.

Nursing aides employed in nursing care facilities often are the principal caregivers and have more contact with residents than do other members of the staff. Because some residents may stay in a nursing care facility for months or even years, aides develop positive, caring relationships with their patients.

Psychiatric aides, also known as mental health assistants or psychiatric nursing assistants, care for mentally impaired or emotionally disturbed individuals. They work under a team that may include psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric nurses, social workers, and therapists. In addition to helping patients to dress, bathe, groom themselves, and eat, psychiatric aides socialize with them and lead them in educational and recreational activities. Psychiatric aides may play card games or other games with patients, watch television with them, or participate in group activities, such as playing sports or going on field trips. They observe patients and report any physical or behavioral signs that might be important for the professional staff to know. They accompany patients to and from therapy and treatment. Because they have such close contact with patients, psychiatric aides can have a great deal of influence on their outlook and treatment.

Work environment

Work as an aide can be physically demanding. Aides spend many hours standing and walking, and they often face heavy workloads. Aides must guard against back injury, because they may have to move patients into and out of bed or help them stand or walk. It is important for aides to be trained in and to follow the proper procedures for lifting and moving patients. Aides also may face hazards from minor infections and major diseases, such as hepatitis, but can avoid infections by following proper procedures. Nursing aides, orderlies, and attendants and psychiatric aides have some of the highest non-fatal injuries and illness rates for all occupations, in the 98th and 99th percentiles in 2007.

Aides also perform tasks that some may consider unpleasant, such as emptying bedpans and changing soiled bed linens. The patients they care for may be disoriented, irritable, or uncooperative. Psychiatric aides must be prepared to care for patients whose illnesses may cause violent behavior. Although their work can be emotionally demanding, many aides gain satisfaction from assisting those in need.

Most full-time aides work about 40 hours per week, but because patients need care 24 hours a day, some aides work evenings, nights, weekends, and holidays. In 2008 about 24 percent of nursing aides, orderlies, and attendants and psychiatric aides worked part-time.



Global Learning Services

Global Learning Services, providers of legislated & skills training live by the ethos, individual performance enhancement in every sphere of training, maximizing the potential of every employee, reducing the risk of injury and damage to property.

GLS has an all too clear understanding of the consequences of operating outside of the legally mandated requirements when recruiting personnel, our clients have benefited from both our Risk Division’s attention to detail and cost and the resultant training by our Training Division.

They are the experts in the field of training and development, as well as being placed in the opportune position of risk assessment. Their teams of well-trained instructors engage the delegates on a level that they are comfortable, discussing the everyday scenarios and putting our invaluable training into context, which makes for better retention of the knowledge we impart.

Their training is based on the corner stone of good governance in accordance with our accreditation requirements as well as a healthy respect for the Health & Safety Act.

All training material is compiled using a modular competency system in line with the NQF, ensuring that effective training is implemented.
Accredited by:

Services Seta: Accreditation number 0761
Transport Seta: Secondary Accreditation, Teta Accreditation number 08-139
Department of Labour: Accreditation number CI 373 – First Aid Level 1, 2, 3. : Accreditation number 289 – Lifting Equipment (Forklifts, Cranes)

They do on site training for our clients and we do training at our training centres.

BB-BEE Policy

Global Learning Services is committed to broad-based black economic empowerment.We are a level 4 micro enterprise contributor.
Training Courses they present:

Dangerous Goods Training
Fire Fighting Training
Miscellaneous Training
Soft Skills Training
Driver Training
First Aid Training
Safety Training
Lifting Equipment Training

They also have branches in Pietermaritzburg, Pinetown, Klerksdorp, Cape Town


South Africa: Doctor brain drain continues

The medical brain drain that had stripped South Africa of efficiency in running its public hospitals is continuing. The country is losing 17% of its qualifying doctors every year and, in the four years since 2005, nearly 1,000 new doctors did not register to work , according to government figures. “It mirrors the depth of dissatisfaction among doctors over South Africa’s public health system,” Mike Waters, shadow minister of health for the official opposition Democratic Alliance, told University World News.

The statistics were published last month in reply to a parliamentary question and reveal the numbers of newly graduated doctors who did not register for community service. Of 5,689 who qualified over four years, 4,702 registered. All doctors have to undertake community service to be accredited by the Health Professions Council of South Africa to practise medicine. The figures suggest many young doctors may have gone to work in other countries, meaning the government subsidy to those medical students is a lost investment.

The Department of Health endorses the competency of doctors after they have served 12 months at state-run health institutions, explained Ravick van der Merwe, an industrial relations adviser for the South African Medical Association. Before offering their services, doctors also have to undertake a year-long internship. Community service doctors and interns are crucial to the public health system, which suffers a 40% vacancy problem. Newly graduated doctors are expected to ‘give back’ to the community, and they are often deployed to very remote and under-equipped hospitals where their skills are most needed. Working conditions are often extremely difficult.

South Africa employs 18,000 doctors in state-run hospitals – or one doctor for every 3,800 people without medical aid – and fewer than three doctors per 10,000 people. The World Health Organization suggests an average of eight doctors per 10,000 people but the figures are worse in rural areas. “Considering the money they will earn after five years, new doctors might run away even before they enrol for community service. The remuneration that they get is not enough for some to pay back loans that they would have borrowed,” Van der Merwe told University World News.

Grumbles about community service are not the only factors chasing doctors away. Professor Gina Joubert, of the faculty of health sciences at the University of Free State, recently wrote in an article Reasons for Doctor Migration, published in the South Africa Family Practice journal, that high levels of crime and violence, lack of prospects, HIV-Aids and a decline in quality in the education system were also pushing doctors to look elsewhere.

“The loss of doctors from South Africa has also been attributed to the high quality of medical education they receive here, a feature that would indisputably render them prime candidates for employment in various developed countries across the world,” Joubert wrote. Marije Versteeg, project director of the Rural Health Doctors Association said: “We live in a context of international competition for scarce resources, in this case human resources. Some countries offer better salaries and better working conditions. The public health system in South Africa is strained. Due to staff shortages, there is higher workload and extremely stressful work environment, especially in rural areas.”

One way of trying to ease the medical brain drain is to select students who display social responsibility and a commitment to the country and to communities, especially in rural areas. “Retaining sufficient health care professionals in rural areas requires an integrated and comprehensive approach that starts with the right selection criteria for medical students,” said Versteeg. This includes decentralised medical education in rural areas, enticing school students to choose a rural career, and ongoing support for rural health care professionals.

While lauding government strategies aimed at retaining doctors – such as the policy on compulsory community service, improving salaries through scarce skills and rural allowances, and recruiting foreign healthcare workers – Versteeg argued that measured against the inequitable distribution of health in rural areas, they were not adequate.Some institutions, such as the University of the Witwatersrand, are trying to attract student doctors who have the ‘heart for the job’ using innovative means. The Wits Centre for Rural Health recruits students from rural areas who are jointly selected by Wits and the district.

The first students will graduate at the end of this year and there are plans to expand the programme. “Government needs to support and work together with universities that have started implementing such approaches,” said Versteeg. Last May, public health doctors held protests over slow negotiations and subsequent implementation of the Occupation Specific Dispensation (OSD), an agreement tabled in 2001 on how increments should be implemented across the health sector.

The South Africa Committee of Health Science Deans has since written a letter to South African Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi urging him to remember the needs of doctor trainers when addressing the causes of recent doctor strikes. “We submit that the conditions not only compromise service delivery and patient care but also adversely affect the education and training of health sciences students as this occurs largely in public sector clinical training platforms,” said Professor Sabiha Essack, chair of the committee and Dean of the faculty of health sciences at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

Essack said the academic health sciences were severely under-resourced, both in the number and level of qualification of the workforce. With implementation of the OSD, the private and public health sectors were now offering better remuneration packages than academia. “Staffing of the academic health sciences will be compromised as a result of better remuneration in the public sector. Postgraduate recruitment will decrease,” said Essack.

South Africa has been experiencing a brain drain for decades, undermining the regional economy. Previous studies have shown that 25% of medical graduates have been lost to the US alone. And it is not only doctors who move to greener pastures. Official statistics estimate that between one and 1.6 million people skilled in professions and managerial occupations have left the country since 1994, the year South Africa became a democracy.