Africa: Frustrated Nurses Resign in Droves

  1. FACED with unfavourable working conditions and no room for advancement in their careers, nurses are said to be resigning in numbers from the public health sector.

    While some go for better working conditions and pay in the private sector, many others leave for foreign countries for greener pastures.

    "It is difficult to climb the ladder," said a nurse yesterday.

    If anyone goes up, it is only up to a point when they can earn N$77 000 per annum and cannot move anymore. The highest a registered nurse could get to is Chief Registered Nurse before one can be considered for a Project Manager position, she said.

    Even with extra qualifications such as a master's degree, one is given a one-off cash bonus of around N$2 700, she alleged.

    The nurse, who preferred anonymity, said as a result the nurses cannot cope with the huge workload, that burns them out. Due to this, they are sometimes booked off by their doctors just to rest.

    Another nurse who left this month for the United Kingdom complained about the working environment. She said many nurses were resigning or transferring to other hospitals because of the working conditions.

    The two claimed that nurses are not appreciated for the role they play in keeping the nation healthy. "It is not only about money but just to tell someone that we appreciate your work," said the nurse who is still in the employ of the Ministry of Health and Social Services.

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