Nurse: Health sector needs more workers

National, Normal

The National, Monday 17th June 2013

 THE Health Department needs more doctors and nurses to make it more effective and efficient, a nurse says.

The nurse, speaking on condition of anonymity, said improving wages and working conditions would not directly improve efficiency of service delivery in hospitals and health centres.

She said the solution was to increase the number of doctors and nurses. 

“We have a big problem where our nurses are over-loaded and over-worked and therefore cannot attend to all the patients,” she said.

“We are only human and most times we are exhausted as we have to attend to too many patients at any one time and some of us get stressed out. 

“As in the current case of the maternity ward, we have one nurse attending to about 25 patients. 

“That is way too many for one person, especially during the labour process.”

She said the department could not recruit more because of the workforce ceiling of 400 set by the Personnel Management Department.

“We can call for more nurses but if the workforce ceiling is set at 400, then we cannot go over that number because the Department of Personnel Management can only cater for wages and other benefits within that mark,” she said.

“Also when the population is growing we cannot downsize medical staff as this will become a big problem which is currently affecting the health sector.”

She said another issue was that a handful of nurses over the retirement age were still working in hospitals and health centres because the provinces did not have the money to pay them off.