Govt to double intake for trainee nurse
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GOVERNMENT says it will soon double the intake at their nurse training schools despite having over 2 000 unemployed nurses in the country.
Minister of Health and Child Welfare Dr Henry Madzorera said although they were failing to employ the nurses after the completion of their three-year course they were aiming to double the intake at their training schools in the country.
"We are closely working with the Ministry of Finance so they can avail us with funds to complete the revamping of our schools so that we can be in a position to double the intake. The most conducive scenario is for us to have more nurses in the country. One day I am sure we will be in a position to offer them some form of employment," said Dr Madzorera.
The minister said they were aiming to build more classrooms and halls of residence so as to improve the conditions at these institutions.
â€œAt most of these schools, we are operating with makeshift premises, like at the United Bulawayo Hospital (UBH) we don't have a school per se but we had to make some room to accommodate the students â€” so at least we have to ensure that we construct more classrooms and halls of residence.
"Honestly we have been grappling with this idea for some time now and I don't see us diverting from it. What we are doing currently is gradually increasing the intake," said the minister.
On the number of nurses that were jobless in the country, the Minister said at the last count there were 2 000 unemployed nurses and the figure was rising after every intake.
"Even if we reach the number of nurses we want to employ, we will still need them in excess. What is happening is that we have to apply to the Minister of Finance if we want to employ and with the current revenue problems in the country we cannot be in a position to employ the whole bunch of them but as the situation in the country improves we will increase the number of nurses we employ in a bid to reduce this figure.
"What I must emphasise is that aleady we have a backlog of practising nurses and we are still to deal with this backlog. In other words while we have over 2 000 unemployed nurses we still have a need of hundreds of nurses at our institutions countrywide," said Dr Madzorera.
He further refuted claims that the ministry had completed the drafting of a Memorandum of understanding to formalise the exportation of nurses to countries such as Swaziland, Lesotho, and Trinidad and Tobago as alleged by recent media reports.
"People should avoid speculating about something that is not even known by Cabinet that will be a major move if it happens but right now there is nothing like that and I donâ€™t see it coming out anytime soon," said the minister.
He, however, said they were confident that if they failed to employ all the nurses, the unemployed could still apply for jobs outside the country as they would have got the best possible training.
"These nurses who graduate should not only wait for the Government to offer them jobs. The fact that they have been trained means that they are now professionals and can apply for jobs anywhere."
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