Western Cape Health Minister Praises Nurses for Their Devotion
Media Statement by Theuns Botha, Minister of Health
Counting 11 731 nurses out of 28 658 employees in Western Cape Government Health, nurses constitute almost half of our workforce, said Western Cape Minister of Health, Theuns Botha, at the 2011 Cecilia Makiwane Nurses' Recognition Awards ceremony.
Attended by almost 300 guests and hosted at the Nico Malan Hall, Groote Schuur Hospital, the awards is an annual highlight on the nursing calendar. The Cecilia Makiwane Recognition Award for Nurses is an initiative of the National Ministry of Health in partnership with the provincial departments.
Each province's winner and first runner-up will participate in the national competition. Minister Botha pointed to last year's provincial winner, Mr John Blom of Malmesbury, who became the national winner. He has been promoted on E-TV morning shows as a hero who serves his community. In the Western Cape, the female male ratio is 91% versus 9%.
In his address, Minister Botha said that nurses play a unique role in our health services and the maintenance of skills and competency levels in an ever-changing environment remains a challenge. "It is really unfortunate that we lose our experienced professional nurses in the age group 55 - 65 due to retirement. We therefore will put proper strategies in place to ensure skills transfer and career pathing."
Minister Botha said to overcome the shortage of nurses in both general and specialty areas, Western Cape Government Health needs to focus on the continuous training of nurses to have a readily available pool of nurses to provide sustainable nursing services. "This means that our immediate requirement is to train approximately 450 professional nurses as from the 2012 academic year, increasing by 50 for every academic year, notwithstanding the number of students already in training."
The Integrated Nursing Education and Training Framework as part of the Provincial Nursing Strategy endorses the incorporation of six nursing schools at provincial hospitals into satellite campuses of the Western Cape College of Nursing. This means that the Worcester Hospital will become the Boland/Overberg satellite campus and George Hospital will become the Southern Cape/Karoo satellite campus and the same with the nursing schools at Beaufort West Hospital, Western Cape Rehab Centre, Groote Schuur Hospital and Tygerberg Hospital.