Shortage of Nurses: Minister must urgently intervene

Jacques Smalle MP

DA Limpopo Provincial Leader

The DA has written to the Health Minister, Dr Aaron Motswaledi to urge him to come up urgently with an  intervention strategy to halt the migration from the public sector to the private sector.

A senior official from the provincial Department of Health has informed the DA that a number of nurses from the public sector are having to augment their income by working late night shifts in the private sector.  This is adding to the already high number of vacancies in the public health sector.

Some of these nurses have been already lured by the private sector by offering them permanent posts thus compounding the shortage of staff already in the public hospitals and clinics.

Hospitals that are being affected include Polokwane , Makhado, Mankweng and other local clinics in the rural areas. These nurses are apparently being paid up to R4000 per week which is far more than they get currently in the public sector.

Limpopo is among the worst provinces with an acute shortage of health sector workers. This shortage will escalate  if necessary measures are not taken by the department.

The obviously concern is that better working conditions and remuneration must be offered to these health workers who already have to face harsh working conditions in the daily lives.

The DA is urging the Minister to expand more resources in the public sector to halt the migration by the health workers to the private sector by providing better salaries and improving working environment.