by Palesa Radebe
THE SRC has called for a 24-hour health service on campus, following student complaints and demands for better health services.
At the moment Campus Health has four staff members servicing 30 000 students and 2 000 Wits staff members.
The biggest issue raised by students concerns its closing hours and the long waiting times to consult with nurses.
The campus clinic closes at 4.30pm and some students only finish their classes at 5pm.
SRC secretary Tasneem Essop said, as part of their action agenda, the SRC wanted the university to employ more nurses, increase working hours and have better resources.
[pullquote]”We want [to] increase resourcing, staffing, [and] two night nurses starting this year that will increase when the needs of the students go up,” [/pullquote]
“We want [to] increase resourcing, staffing, [and] two night nurses starting this year that will increase when the needs of the students go up,” Essop told the Wits Vuvuzela.
The SRC and Campus Health will approach Wits management jointly to ask for 24-hour health services. They will also ask management to increase staff within the division so they can remain open longer.
“If you increase your staff, you increase your working times,” said Essop. “Getting more staff will also get the lines to move faster, and less waiting time.”
Head of Campus Health, Sister Yvonne Matimba, is in favour of Campus Health remaining open 24 hours of the day. But she does not support the idea of nurses carrying medicine to different
residences at night.
“Nurses would easily become vulnerable at night, if they would have to walk around campus carrying a bag filled with medical supplies,” Matimba said.
Approached by Wits Vuvuzela, students said night nurses were needed on campus and that it would be valuable to have them around.
Boteng Maluke, 1st year Law, said: “Night nurses are not a bad idea. People need to be able to access nurses. I had a migraine and I didn’t know what to do. I just took pills but I needed medical attention.”
Amanda Nkhumeleni, 1st year BAcc, said she would like it if nurses were available for 24 hours. “If I get sick in the middle of the night, they call Campus Protection, and they take you to hospital which is far. It’s better to have a night nurse.”
The meeting with Wits management will be held in September and the SRC hopes to have night nurses available by the end of the year.