Nurses at the Khorixas district hospital said they have ceased from assisting at the mortuary when the substantive employee is off duty.
The nurses alleged they assist at the mortuary after hours, during weekends and public holidays when the mortuary assistant is not on duty.
In an event where a patient dies when the mortuary assistant has knocked off, the nurses charged they normally instruct families of the victim to take the body to the mortuary themselves.
“We are encouraging the relatives of the deceased to take the bodies of their relatives to the mortuary themselves. In an event where the relatives are not close by, the body will overnight in the ward and wait for the mortuary assistant,” said the nurses, who chose to remain anonymous.
The aggrieved nurses charged their concern has been on the table for years and it has not been addressed.
They said the issue has reached a dead-end after regional health director Thomas Shapumba informed them the issue was escalated to health authorities.
The nurses claimed they have waited enough and have now taken a position on the issue.
They further charged that handling of bodies is not in their scope of training and have been doing the work out of empathy.
“This is beyond us and we need the ministry to relook this issue. We have a shortage of nurses and we neglect the patients while we are attending to the mortuary,” said the concerned nurses.
In an earlier interview, the regional director said he is aware of the issue of the nurses at Khorixas and assured he will channel it to the relevant office.
The nurses are usually paid an allowance, determined per body handled.