Namibia freezes nursing posts for Zimbabweans

Namibia freezes nursing posts for Zimbabweans
Published: 01 September 2017
THE Namibian government has suspended the recruitment of all foreign nurses, among them Zimbabweans, while the period of extensions of contracts for foreign doctors has been slashed from four to two years.

However, foreign doctors and nurses appointed under Bilateral Agreements will not be affected by the new development.

The decision, announced through a circular signed and issued by the Namibia's Permanent Secretary for Health and Social Services, Dr Andreas Mwoombola, comes into effect today.

Media reports in that country suggest Zimbabwe and Kenya have the highest number of nurses employed in both private and government institutions in Namibia compared to other countries.

According to the media reports, Dr Mwoombola stated that all government hospitals would suspend the appointments or extension of contracts of non-Namibians as well as Namibians who have reached the age of 60.

The Health Ministry said the latest development was necessitated by a sharp increase in the number of its fourth-year students who graduated last month under the government-run Registered Nurse Diploma Project.

"Over 200 nursing professionals are expected to join the market by September 1, 2017 after graduating. All State hospitals will suspend the appointments or extension of contracts of non-Namibians as well as Namibians who have reached the age of 60.

"As a result, all State health institutions will not renew any contracts that will be expiring as from September 1, 2017 until all young Namibian graduates are accommodated. This is precipitated by the fourth-year students who are graduating end of August 2017 at the government-run Registered Nurse Diploma Project," read the circular.

Namibian Health Professions Council Registrar Mr Cornelius Weyulu said the exact number of foreigners employed by the State or private institutions was only known by the employers.

"We only register and accredit them for them to get employment in Namibia. Where they get employed and for how long, is not known to us. Of course, many of the nursing professionals are now found in private hospitals," he said.

The latest development comes barely four months after the Minister of Health and Child Care, Dr David Parirenyatwa, announced in April that the Government has begun the recruitment of 2 000 nurses. The exercise, which is being implemented in three batches, started in April and ends this month.

The Health Services Board (HSB) said nurses seeking employment must be registered with the Nurses Council of Zimbabwe.

The recruitment of nurses follows Treasury's approval to lift a job freeze in the health sector.

According to the Zimbabwe Nurses' Association (Zina) the country has a shortfall of 8 500 nurses.
- the herald


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