South African Nurses Organisation Condemns Recent Theft and Fraud

The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (Denosa) has announced theft of medicine worth R200,000 by 12 nurses. This is compounded by the substantial health challenges already faced by the Eastern Cape.

The 12 nurses were allegedly selling off schedule 5 drugs to private practitioners or relatives. A larger probe into fraud and corruption will see another 23 department officials arrested. This is a blow to the department, which spends a large amount of its budget on medicines but receives regular complaints that hospitals or clinics are out of stock of particular drugs.

The department has also blacklisted over 100 companies, which were created to receive payments for items that were supposed to be delivered to clinics but had instead been sold off. Officials estimate that the total amount involved is above R3.7 million.

"As an organisation, we have no room for corruption and we utterly condemn any illegal acts by health workers, or anyone for that matter", said Denosa Eastern Cape Provincial Secretary Kholiswa Tota. The organisation has also called on the Government to carry out the appropriate legal procedures.

The nurses charged with the theft were arrested on Wednesday and appeared in court, where they were granted bail at R1,500 each. The case has been suspended until December 14, pending further investigation.