Freedom Front Plus
Freedom Front Plus

Minister dragging his feet in signing regulations could lead to great shortage of nurses

Yesterday, it came to light that because the Minister of Health is dragging his feet in signing regulations, it could mean that no new nurses will be able to receive training in 2020/21.

These regulations have been outstanding since 2014. The regulations deal with nursing training, practice and programmes as well as the reaccreditation of existing institutions and nursing education programmes.

The strategic plan for the training of nurses, which makes provision for new qualifications, was implemented in 2013 already, but no private training institutions or curricula have been approved and accredited. It seems that the glitch lies between the Ministry of Higher Education and the Department of Health.

The processes of accrediting nursing courses and approving private nursing institutions are being held up. The reason for this is not known, but it could result in South Africa having a great shortage of nurses and the country simply cannot afford that.

Even if the regulations are signed this very day, it will still be too late as it must first be published for input from the public for a period of one month and as a result, it will be too late for training that commences in 2020. Apparently, the South African Nursing Council is also experiencing problems with the accreditation of programmes for undergraduate training.

The FF Plus is seriously worried about this problem seeing as 60% of the country's nurses receive training at private institutions. In 2010, the shortage of nurses was approximately 45 000.

Yesterday in the parliamentary Portfolio Committee for Health's meeting, the Department in the Presidency for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation revealed in their report that there are only 287 000 nurses in the country, which has a population of 60 million people.

If accreditation does not take place soon, it could result in serious staff shortages in our health care system.

The FF Plus is issuing a warning that this will have an enormous and catastrophic impact on South Africa's already struggling health care system. The party will continue to push the issue so that solutions can be found.

Contact details: 060 556 4347 / (012) 772 4410 / (021) 403 3036



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