Minister to improve working conditions of nurses

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Pretoria - Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi has re-committed himself to working hard in ensuring that the training and working conditions of nurses are improved in this country.

Paying tribute to nurses during International Nursing Day, Motsoaledi acknowledged that there were many challenges facing the nursing profession in South Africa and he committed himself to work together with nurses, unions and private sector to ensure that the profession is improved.

Last month, the minister hosted a national nursing summit, which was aimed at developing a nursing compact and roadmap towards the re-engineering of nursing in South Africa.

Among the issues discussed at the summit included education and training, skills development and moonlighting.

Motsoaledi also committed himself to improving the working conditions including salaries of nurses in the public sector.

"The public health system has over the past number of years lost nurses to overseas countries due to poor working conditions and salaries, the Occupation Specific Dispensation has since been introduced as part of retaining nurses in the sector and attracting new ones.

Nurses Day is celebrated annually on 12 May, the anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, who is widely considered the founder of modern nursing.

This year's International Nurses Day will be celebrated under the theme: Closing The Gap: Increasing Access and Equity.

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