Nursing receives crucial face-lift

Close to 2000 nurses have been deployed to underserved areas across the country since the start of the year, the Department of Health said on Saturday.

Close to 2000 nurses have been deployed to underserved areas across the country since the start of the year, the Department of Health said on Saturday.

The department said it would also open additional nursing colleges to increase the supply of nursing staff.

"This is an effort to strengthen nursing services as the backbone of healthcare delivery in the country," the department said.

The nurses would be the last group of health professionals to do community service.

The department said a total of 1951 nurses who completed the four-year nursing diploma or degree last year had been allocated their one-year community service in all nine provinces. The other 65 nurses were allocated to the South African Military Health Service.

A total of 3826 health professionals, including doctors, dentists and radiographers, had been deployed to various facilities for community service and internship programmes.

The department said it also planned to reopen nursing schools and colleges following an audit.

"The strategy to reopen nursing colleges, coupled with improving salaries of nurse educators by means of the recently approved Occupational Specific Dispensation process, is envisaged to attract nurses and nurse educators in particular, back into the nursing profession."

"Increasing the supply of qualified nurses is part of the strategic framework for the human resources health plan launched in 2006.

"It is expected to impact positively in improving the quality of care for the people of South Africa," said the department. - Sapa

X