Knysna Private Nursing Services
This service was started by the Red Cross around 1985, but was made independent in 1991 with an initial grant.
It provides nursing services at home, mainly for the elderly and the not-so-well-off in the central area of Knysna, up to Brenton-on-Sea on the South Coast of South Africa.
The management rests with a voluntary Committee and one full-time nursing sister is employed.
In principle one should be a member of the service at a very modest annual membership fee and at a minimal cost for actual services, but services will not be withheld in case of need and the fee collection is at the discretion of the nursing sister.
If you realize that a stay in a private hospital
can cost as much as R1100 per day, the
annual membership fee of R100 for a nursing
sister to come to your home is a mere pittance.
That nursing sister will assist with blood
pressure, blood sugar, haemoglobin,
injections, enemas, cut your nails, attend
to catheters, give you a bed bath, dress
wounds, etc. etc. for very modest fees.
The service was self-funding until the year 2000 as the fee income, the interest from the capital plus donations covered the expenses. However with the sharp drop in interest rates and the ever rising costs, the service is running at a loss since 2001 and the initial capital is disappearing at an alarming rate. The situation now is so bad that the service will have to close down by the end of 2006 unless the Committee can find extra income from increased membership, donations and any other fund-raising schemes.
At the last AGM in May 2006 a motion to close down was not carried and a new Chairman and Secretary were found willing to try and keep the service alive. Since then a membership drive for new members was started and the fees, which had not been raised for many years, were increased.
Publicity via newspapers and the internet was initiated and the medical profession in the area was approached in order to draw attention to this service and gain new members.
All these measures hopefully will show some positive effect, but they are not enough to put the service on a sound footing, as presently it runs at an annual loss close to some R50,000!
What the Knysna Private Nursing Service needs is donation capital and legacies left to it in wills, in addition to it's own fund-raising efforts though collections, demonstrations, etc.