International Nurses Day: SA’s devastating nursing scarcity 

The scarcity of healthcare professionals in South Africa has led to nurses working within the public well being sector confronted with nearly double the workloads. This is based on the President of the Young Nurses Indaba Trade Union, Lerato Maduma-Gova.

“The country does not have enough nursing personnel, and this started long before the pandemic and we still struggled terribly during the start of the Covid-19 pandemic,” mentioned Maduma-Gova.

According to the SA Nursing Council’s (SANC) provincial distribution of nursing manpower versus the inhabitants of  South Africa, there’s one nurse for each 218 sufferers. 

Maduma-Gova mentioned whereas the world is celebrating International Nurses Day at present, the nation is battling an excessive nursing scarcity. 

“A job that is supposed to be done by six nurses is being done by a single nurse and a ward of 30 patients is still being managed by one registered nurse with the assistance of lower category nurses. But to be very honest we are running a healthcare system that is very much unsafe, that is very much not of quality,” mentioned Madumo-Gova.

Department of Health spokesperson Foster Mohale mentioned the problem of shortages varies from one facility to the following.

“Some facilities are sufficiently staffed and others not. However, it is safe to generally acknowledge that according to the staffing norms there is a shortage of nursing personnel,” mentioned Mohale.

Over 10,000 nursing vacancies

In March Health Minister Joe Phaahla revealed that there are  10,831 vacancies in state hospitals. In a written reply to parliamentary questions, Phaahla mentioned. KwaZulu-Natal had the best variety of nurse vacancies (3603), adopted by the Eastern Cape (2183) and Gauteng (1497). Limpopo had 806 vacancies, Free State 799, North West 622, Mpumalanga 569, Western Cape 526, and Northern Cape 226.

Mohale mentioned funds cuts should not serving to the scenario.

“Due to general budget cuts introduced by the National Treasury as part of physical consolidation in the public service, the Cost of Employment (CoE) is negatively affected and therefore not all posts can be filled simultaneously. This has resulted in stringent measures implemented to control filling of positions including key line function posts to avoid over expenditure on CoE,” mentioned Mohale.

He added that the Covid-19 pandemic negatively affected the nation’s nursing providers, however the division is doing all it might probably to resolve these challenges. The authorities launched the presidential stimulus bundle and the human useful resource coaching grant (HRTG) to reinforce serving personnel.

“The introduction of these grants saw a total appointment of 73 370 in new posts (i.e., health-related including nursing posts and support personnel), to strengthen services in the public health sector either on a contractual or permanent basis.”

Aging nursing inhabitants

Democratic Nursing Organisation (Denosa) Limpopo Provincial Chairperson, Monyaki Lesiba mentioned that the Covid-19 pandemic has uncovered an getting old nursing inhabitants and the dearth of coaching for brand spanking new nursing college students to exchange those that have retired resulting from previous age and in poor health well being. 

An age evaluation by SANC final year discovered that 27 % of the nursing inhabitants are between 50 and 59-years-old. While 17 % are between the ages of 60 and 69.

“Some nurses of course during the pandemic, because of their age decided to take their pensions, some unfortunately succumbed to the disease, that is why we are more than limping as the nursing population.  When we try to raise the issues, the reason is always the same, -poverty, no funds available, no budget that is always what we are told,” he mentioned.

He mentioned the scarcity of coaching schools makes the problem worse. Singling out Limpopo, he mentioned the province’s schools had not had an consumption of any coaching of nurses for the final three years.

“And those who were trained about three years back haven’t been absorbed in Limpopo, because the province is always crying poverty,” said Lesiba.

Aspiring nurse, Arehone Mulaudzi, from Sherly village, within the Vhembe district, can attest to this. When she matriculated in 2020, all she had hoped for was to be admitted to the Tshilidzini Nursing school. Instead, she was advised it was not taking new college students.

“It has always been my dream since I was a kid, but it looks like that dream is quickly fading away and there is nothing I can do about that. I was told that the college was not taking new students, it hurt me badly as I knew that my family cannot afford to send me to a private nursing college in Gauteng,” mentioned Mulaudzi.

According to Madumo-Gova, one other problem nursing personnel proceed to battle every single day is dilapidated infrastructures in most public well being amenities throughout the nation.

“The three major issues we are faced with as nurses are, shortage of staff, poor salary, and poor infrastructures. Our infrastructures are very much dilapidated,” mentioned Madumo-Gova. -Health-e News.

div id="taboola-below-article-thumbnails">
Back to top button