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Mediclinic News : Nursing faces crisis level

Title

Nursing faces crisis level

Date

2016-09-08

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News Description

CAPE ARGUS DA has submitted a request to Parliament for nursing shortages inquiry The DA has called for a parliamentary inquiry into the shortage of nurses in the country, saying the scarcity of nurses, their uneven distribution and the low rate of training is inadequate. Dr Heinrich Volmink, the DAs spokesman on health, said he had written to the chairperson of portfolio committee on health, Lindelwa Dunjwa, requesting an investigation into the state of the country's nursing profession. Describing the shortage as "alarming", he said Parliament could not continue in its "usual attitude to wait for the situation to reach crisis level before moving to action". "It (Parliament) has a duty to investigate this problem and to make recommendations to fix it if we are to avoid our healthcare system slipping further into crisis," he said. Dunjwa confirmed receiving Volmink's letter, but said she needed time before she could come to any conclusions. "The shortage of nurses is something we also know as the committee. It's actually been discussed at length. Recently we had Health Minister (Dr Aaron Motsoaledi) presenting to us about the department's Human Resources strategy, which also talks about the shortage of nurses. I'm just surprised that Dr Volmink decided to approach the media about this issue before even giving me an opportunity to respond to his letter," she said. According to the SA Nursing Council (Sane), the national output of registered nurses and midwives, after the four year training programme, was 3 291 1ast year. Volmink said these numbers were a drop in the ocean compared to the numbers needed by the country's healthcare sector. According to a Department of Health strategy document, there was already a professional nursing shortage of 44 780 in the public sector in 2010. Volmink said the gap would simply not be filled appropriately. "Nurses in the public sector face massive workloads and relatively poor conditions as compared to their colleagues in the private sector. "Furthermore, there is a substantial rural/urban divide, with fewer nurses placed in rural and remote areas where health facilities are often seriously under resourced," he said. He blamed poor engagement by Sanc Nursing faces crisis level and the Department of Education and Training, saying part of the problem was a delay in certification and registration of new courses. Marika Champion, spokeswoman for the provincial Department of Health, said there was not a shortage of nurses in the Western Cape. "We are experiencing shortages of nurses in the speciality stream, although this has not reached crisis levels," she said. These included primary healthcare, trauma and emergency, psychiatry, ICU, midwives and paediatric nurses.
Created at 2016/09/15 08:31 AM by Mediclinic
Last modified at 2016/09/15 08:31 AM by Mediclinic