Anroux Marais

DA Western Cape spokesperson for Health, Western Cape Provincial Parliament

In commemoration of the honourable profession of nursing, as spokesperson for the DA on Health, I commend nurses worldwide and especially in the Western Cape for the instrumental role they play in health care.

Saturday, 12 May 2012, marks International Nurses Day and this year’s theme, “Closing the Gap: From Evidence to Action”, solicits a more proactive approach. This date celebrates the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth and honours the committed and devoted work done by nurses.

This year, the DA is especially proud to acknowledge Sister Fahwaa Samsodien, the Operational Manager for the Somerset Hospital’s Paediatric Unit, as she is rewarded with the Florence Nightingale Award, which recognises South Africa’s most dedicated nurses. Sister Fahwaa Samsodien has been a nurse for 30 years and worked in the paediatric ward for 24 years and continues to establish and maintain special relationships with the sickly children she cares for. We congratulate her on this prestigious accolade for her invaluable contributions to increase wellness in the province, especially the young and vulnerable.

The number of nurses constitutes almost half of the healthcare workforce in the province. As at October 2011, totalling 11 731 out of 28 658 employees, nurses continue to play a unique role in our health services[1], through unfailing commitment to their patients. Although the number of nurses may seem high in relation to the total amount of employees, there exist a shortage of nurses, and not only in the Western Cape but worldwide. West Australia faces a shortfall of more than 12 000 nurses by 2025 under conservative projections.

To address this adverse deficit, the Western Cape Department of Health has put in place the Integrated Nursing Education and Training Framework as part of the Provincial Nursing Strategy which endorses the incorporation of six nursing schools at provincial hospitals into satellite campuses of the Western Cape College of Nursing.

The DA urges young individuals in our communities to consider a career in the field of nursing. They will be contributing to increasing wellness in the province and fulfilling a moral responsibility in caring for others, which has recently become scarce in our communities and essentially, we are “Better Together”.

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