More nurses for North West clinics

Friday, March 30, 2012

Pretoria - In an effort to better serve the high number of patients visiting health facilities in the North West, 62 community nurses will be deployed in provincial clinics in April to offer extra services.

Provincial Health MEC Dr Magome Masike said the number of people who migrate to Rustenburg to work in the mines and other economic sectors motivated the department to staff clinics with more nurses.

The 62 community nurses come from Mmabatho College and are doing their mandatory community service in clinics across the province; nine of the nurses will be deployed in clinics within the Rustenburg sub-district, where there is the most demand.

The nurses are an addition to 108 community service nurses that were released to do community service in January 2012. Excelsius College of Nursing is expected to produce a total of 73 community nurses in June 2012.

Magome said the department would use the R80 million-grant allocated for infrastructure development and revitalisation to revamp the two nursing colleges, together with four nursing schools based in Taung, Moses Kotane, Witrand and Thusong hospitals.

The revitalised nursing colleges, Magome said, would allow the department to increase the annual intake of nursing students, helping to effectively deal with the acute shortage of nurses.

He re-appealed to the public to make use of Community Health Centers and public clinics as the first point of entry into the health system, following an overflow of patients visiting hospitals with cold cases that could have been treated at primary health level -- which impacts on emergency cases.

"Community health centers in the province have resident medical officers, clinics have scheduled medical officers every week, there is also a referral system which moves patients from clinics to hospitals if required," he said, giving the assurance that health facilities had an excellent and regular supply of all medication.