The Solidarity Occupational Guild for Nursing Practitioners today reiterated its concerns over the delays in the accreditation of private nurses’ training institutions. This comes after a joint statement was issued by the departments of Health and Higher Education that as from January 2020 public nurses’ colleges would be allowed to offer the new nursing qualifications.
According to Hennie Bierman, head of Solidarity’s Occupational Guilds, this may perhaps be a step in the right direction, but it is a pity that this decision has only been taken now, especially given that a sword is already hanging over nursing as a profession. “Nursing practitioners are overworked and underpaid. For the past few years, not a single private institution has received approval to offer training in certain nursing subjects, while the existing nurses’ colleges have been under pressure to comply with the requirements of the new qualifications. Public nurses’ colleges will not be able to cope on their own,” Bierman said.
Last year, Solidarity issued a report on the serious nursing shortages in South Africa which have a direct impact on the quality of health care in the country. “More needs to be done to deal with this crisis. We demand that the accreditation of private nurses’ training institutions be given urgent attention now. So far, the Department of Health and the Department of Higher Education, as well as the Nursing Council have acted irresponsibly by allowing this crisis to last so long,” Bierman concluded.
The guild is prepared to engage with all players to assist them insofar as the current challenges with the accreditation process are concerned so as to ensure that this crisis is indeed addressed.