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September 2018 nursing graduates headed for a tough time … as numbers exceed available vacant posts

by Kelvin Chiringa

An estimated 217 registered nurses expected to graduate in September this year are set for a difficult time as the health ministry has already raised red-flags over limited vacant posts to accommodate them.

With regards to the nurses who have not been employed to date, deputy health minister Juliet Kavetuna has announced that the ministry does not have any applications of the nurses who graduated in 2017 or before that.

“The 320 applicants we have only graduated in April 2018. The ministry has commenced with the recruitment process which is expected to be in course.”

“The ministry has 387 vacant posts for enrolled nurses of which 151 posts are funded to the tune of N$ 22 929 501.00. Two hundred and thirty-six (236) vacant positions are unfunded for which N$ 35 836 836.00 would be required,” she told parliament this week.

She said 215 registered nurses have applied for employment in the ministry.

 “The Ministry has 211 vacancies for registered nurses of which 125 are funded to the tune of N$ 27 778 052.00. Eighty-six (86) are unfunded for which N$19 111 300.00 will be required,” she said.  

Inspite of the limited space for 2018’s graduates, Kavetuna said her ministry “has been working tirelessly to ensure that we create maximum positions within our space”.

She indicated that in fact, 99 posts were created by abolishing nearly 213 managerial and administrative posts in order to accommodate professionals such as doctors, nurses and other health professionals.

“This process of compensatory reduction is still proceeding to enable us to create more clinical positions. Needless to say, qualified Namibians will always be given preference when filling any vacancies.”

“The Ministry of Health and Social Services in particular and the Government in general is delighted that we are now moving towards self-sufficient with regard to nursing professionals and that these young professionals will soon be ready to provide services under the coaching of the more experienced nurses, including the few remaining foreign nurses with specialized skills,” she said. 

She also said that from 2015, her ministry has managed to train nearly 931 enrolled nurses who have been absorbed in the health system.