ONGWEDIVA - The Ministry of Health and Social Services has proposed the creation of 4 612 positions in order to improve the number of health professionals at health facilities, which are known to have serious staff shortages.
The proposed positions will include 1 690 registered nurses, 52 radiographers and 23 radiographic assistants. “The Department of Public Service Management in the Office of the Prime Minister is currently working hand in hand with this ministry [of health] to create these critically needed positions and to complete this exercise in the shortest time possible,” said the Minister of Health and Social Services Kalumbi Shangula in a statement. Shangula’s statement is a response to the protest in which 300 unemployed nurses and 52 radiographers in July this year took to the streets to demand jobs from the government. The submission to create the positions was made to the Office of the Prime Minister already in June. Shangula added that once the positions are created, the health ministry will approach the Ministry of Finance for funding to fill the positions. The ministry this year only had 78 vacant positions. Additional positions will become available with retirements, expiry of contracts and resignations. In the meantime, the unemployed nurses are encouraged to compete for 11 registered nurses positions in Khomas.
In response to the shortage of staff and complaints of patients waiting for prolonged periods at health facilities, Shangula said the ministry is aware of the situation and hence the proposed creation of additional positions. The health minister said the ministry is currently engaged in a comprehensive restructuring process to make its staff establishment responsive to the country’s health needs.
He said the current staff establishment of the ministry, which was approved in 2003, is not adequate to address all the staffing needs and it has since become necessary to reorganise and restructure the current staff establishment. On the request to regulate employment at private hospitals, Shangula said the ministry can only sensitise private hospitals to consider unemployed nurses when advertising their positions, however it cannot interfere in their operations. The unemployed nurses charged that private hospitals were recruiting foreigners at the expense of unemployed Namibian nurses.
2019-09-02 07:25:44 21 days ago