WINDHOEK - The executive director in the Ministry of Health and Social Services, Ben Nangombe, yesterday confirmed that expatriate nurses from different countries whose contracts were not renewed are leaving the country.
Some of the nurses left in January and others this month.
Most nursing expatriate contracts ended last year.
Some nurses such as those from Kenya came on bilateral agreements while others came on their own.
The nurses are from various African countries such as South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe, said Nangombe.
“There was a time when there was a high need and we recruited them as they applied,” explained Nangombe.
“We need to find places for the locally-trained nurses. We are in the process of helping them [foreigners] repatriate to their home countries. Namibia appreciates the support we received from those countries,” said Nangombe.
So far this year, 147 locally-trained nurses have been deployed to different facilities countrywide, said Nangombe.
“Those (posts) that we filled are of the nurses that graduated last year from the National Training Centres and some from the local universities,” added Nangombe.
The Ministry of Health and Social Services announced in August 2017 that the contracts of expatriate nurses in Namibia would not be renewed to accommodate Namibians.
Last year in May, former Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr Bernard Haufiku said the approach was wrong and created confusion and uncertainty.
He also said that the contracts of the Kenyan nurses would be renewed following a meeting with the High Commissioner of Kenya to Namibia.
The existing memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Namibia and Kenya through which the nurses were deployed in the country expires in March, according to information obtained by New Era.
In January and this month some Kenyan nurses working in Namibia had to return home, according to a source. About 30 Kenyan nurses will remain in the country until their contracts expire in 2020.
The first batch of 20 Kenyan nurses arrived in Namibia in 2006, following an MoU signed in 2002, giving them a chance to work on a two-year contract with a possibility of renewal.
“We are unable to renew their contracts because of the local nurses,” Nangombe remarked.
2019-02-14 10:03:18 6 days ago