Gauteng to re-open nursing colleges to produce more nurses

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A number of nursing colleges in Gauteng that were closed are to be re-opened in an effort to produce more nurses. "I am pleased to announce that we have decided to reopen some of the colleges currently not in operation, this will allow us to produce more nurses in shorter periods,' Gauteng Health MEC Brian Hlongwa said.


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By Bongani Mlangeni

A number of nursing colleges in Gauteng that were closed are to be re-opened in an effort to produce more nurses.

"I am pleased to announce that we have decided to reopen some of the colleges currently not in operation, this will allow us to produce more nurses in shorter periods,' Gauteng Health MEC Brian Hlongwa said.

He was addressing the Democratic Nurses Organisation of South Africa (Denosa) International Nurses Day Celebration, held in Bonalesedi Nursing College, Kagiso Saturday.

He added that the Gauteng government had committed itself to double the number of nurses entering the profession over the medium term framework.

"We will be doing so at a rate of 20 percent per year and have already exceeded our initial targets.

"Plans are also underway to reopen Coronation Nursing College as a campus of the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital?s Nursing College,' he said.

Mr Hlongwa also praised the nurses who went beyond the call of duty in providing proper health care to communities.

"You are special not only to the Gauteng Department of Health, but also to all the grateful families you have nursed their loved ones back to good health for, even under difficult and bleak conditions at times,' he told the nurses.

Nurses, he said, were the links that connect government to the people in our communities. "You care for people and you help them recover.

"You ease their pain, prevent disease and minimise risk. No one can dispute that yours is not an easy task, and we appreciate your devotion. We salute you!' MEC Hlongwa said.

The nursing profession is currently faced with a number of challenges that include shortage of staff and emigration to countries such as United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia.

"We have embarked on marketing programmes aimed at encouraging more people to choose nursing as a career in an effort to address the situation,' Mr Hlongwa said.

He added that it was important for health workers to strive for excellent service at all times.

"It is crucial for all of us to understand that the people we serve have rights to excellent service and other human rights.'

Working conditions for nurses, he said must also be improved by ensuring adequate rest and recreation facilities, clean washrooms, safer working environments and a reduction in the workload.

Meanwhile, International Nurse?s Day is celebrated annually worldwide on 12 May.
This day signifies the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing. The theme for 2007 is "Nursing: A profession and a passion."

This is the 33rd annual International Nurse?s Day, according to the American Association of Nurses.

BuaNews

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