Health Committee Tells Department to Prioritise Nursing Profession

Parliament– The Portfolio Committee on Health received a briefing yesterday from the Chief Nursing Officer and the Department of Health on progress made in relation to the reopening of nursing colleges; update on the new nursing programmes, curriculum and collaboration with the Department of Higher Education on the curriculum and training of nurses.
The Chairperson of the committee, Ms Lindelwa Dunjwa, emphasised the importance of the nursing profession and described it as the backbone of the health fraternity, and based on that, she said the well-being of nurses should be prioritised.
The Chief Nursing Officer, Ms Nonhlanhla Makhanya, briefed the committee on progress on the reopening of nursing colleges that were closed. The committee heard that all the colleges that were closed were reopened in 2013 in the Eastern Cape province and none were reopened in the Northern Cape province due to lack of funding.
The committee also heard that the new nursing programmes and curriculum will start in January 2020. The nursing colleges will offer a three-year Diploma in General Nursing to produce a Generalist Nurse with broader training and scope of practice than the current enrolled nurses. There will also be an Advanced Diploma in Midwifery and the third programme is a Postgraduate Diploma to produce nurses aligned to service needs.
The committee was assured that all the colleges, except the Northern Cape ones, have met the readiness status. The committee expressed its concern about the infrastructure and facilities such as accommodation challenges for nursing colleges in all the provinces. Also, the committee told the department about its concern about salaries and conditions of service linked to the new categories.
The department told the committee that there is a report on the state of readiness of colleges that includes accommodation, Human Resources and Infrastructure and the report will be shared with the committee.
Ms Dunjwa told the department to closely monitor the operations of private nursing colleges.

Source: Parliament of the Republic of South Africa

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