'The nursing profession is dying'

Zinhle Mapumulo

Zinhle Mapumulo

On the eve of the International Nurses Day, shocking statistics were released about how the nursing profession was dying in South Africa, resulting in those left on the job being severely overworked.

A study conducted by trade union Solidarity showed that for every 213 patients, there is one nurse. It also showed that 40,3 percent of jobs for registered nurses in the public sector are vacant and that the nursing population is ageing, with only 3 percent of nurses under the age of 30, while 40 percent are 50 years and older.

"The findings indicated that the country's ratio of health workers per patient is almost 23 percent lower than the global average. South Africa currently has 468 health workers for every 100000 people," said Dirk Hermann of Solidarity.

The world is celebrating the nurses day today. This day is celebrated annually, and aims at highlighting challenges that are facing the profession.

The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa stressed yesterday that as it celebrates the immense contribution by the nursing profession in the health sector, South Africans should in no way ignore continuing challenges in the profession.