SA employed more than 13,000 new nurses to cope with COVID-19

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COVID-19 has meant the employment of 13,135 new nurses over South Africa’s nine provinces since the start of the pandemic. Skills Portal reports that this was according to Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize, who said at the Society of Private Nurse Practitioners of SA conference that this proves that it is “possible to achieve such numbers in such a short space of time”.

Mkhize said that the achievement that is the decline in cases and fatalities is the result of the passion, dedication and sheer diligence of the country’s nurses and midwives. “We thank you for braving the threat of being infected yourself, and even of death.”

“In December last year, I had the privilege of launching the Nursing Now campaign, a three-year campaign initiated by the global nursing community with the sole objective of improving health care delivery to our people.”

The five key focus areas for the campaign are: ensuring that nurses and midwives have a more prominent voice in health policymaking, encouraging greater investment in the nursing workforce and recruiting more nurses into leadership positions.

It also involves doing more research to help determine where nurses can have the greatest impact on the community by sharing their best nursing practices.

“Indeed, these key focus points align perfectly with the objectives of the Presidential Health Compact, The Quality Improvement Plan and, ultimately, the National Health Insurance.”

Mkhize said his department will soon publish the Strategic Direction for Nursing Education and Practice that outlines a roadmap for strengthening nursing and midwifery in South Africa for the next five years.

Also, work has been done to broadcast and publicise various sections of the Nursing Act.

Full Skills Portal report

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