JOHANNESBURG – The Western Cape is recruiting over 5,000 additional doctors, nurses, and other health workers to fight the COVID-19 crisis in the province.
It is urging health workers from across the country to apply, including private GPs and nurses.
Western Cape Health MEC, Nomafrench Mbombo, says the province needs over 4,000 doctors and nurses, as well as more than a thousand administrative and support staff to assist at existing and new coronavirus treatment facilities, like the Hospital of Hope.
This number makes provision for estimated 20-percent absenteeism due to staff being infected with the virus or self-isolating after possible exposure.
“We understand that we will be paying them peanuts in terms of what they were used to but I think patriotism goes a long way in terms of assisting the public so its all about treating South Africans and being South African.”
The current high absenteeism rate is placing a lot of strain on nurses in the province.
But many graduate nurses who would like to help, can’t do so because of registration delays at the SA Nursing Council.The Council’s offices were closed at the beginning of lockdown and only opened again this week.
The available online assistance wasn’t always efficient.
The Council’s CEO, Sibongile Mchunu says more than 1,000 graduate nurses’ registrations are pending because academic institutions did not submit their results on time.
“We have no issues except for people who have submitted late up to 26 March was the date when we were closed for lockdown and we are still processing those and the 8 provinces we have no issues except with Gauteng,” said Mchunu.
256 of those awaiting registration are in the Western Cape.
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