The burden that rests on these women is enormous as they are unquestionably asked to care for others but thus far have not received their dues. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has put into sharp focus and exacerbated a number of inequalities and fragilities that haunt the healthcare system and constrain it from delivering on its constitutional mandate. The gender blind austerity budgeting has led to chronic understaffing, with 38 000 vacant nursing posts in 2018. The result is an overworked, underpaid and underappreciated workforce. The poor treatment of our healthcare workers has compromised the quality of healthcare, resulting in a healthcare system ill prepared for shocks such as COVID-19.