The government’s intention to launch a National Health Insurance already appears to be incoherent. Apart from the only two days the members were given to an advisory committee to determine which medical conditions would be covered, another “massive problem” has now emerged:
Prospective nursing staff are hampered by the accreditation of Institutions where they had to be trained, apparently placed on the long track. This means that no nursing staff will be trained next year. Currently, there is an estimated ratio of 1 nurse to 1,000 patients nationwide and this ratio will continue to deteriorate.
Another problem is students who want to be trained as nurses for Intensive care, neonatal care and pediatrics, trauma, and casualty posts. Maintaining our current primary health care is already showing serious shortcomings and will now be further undermined.
If the Minister of Health, Zwelini Mkhizi remains apathetic to this problem, there may be a shortage of 400,000 nursing staff by 2025.
According to him, the Health Plan must be reviewed by several constitutional experts before final approval can be obtained.)
The minister’s undertaking to improve healthcare, address staff shortages, provide the necessary medication and better management with improved technology remains to be seen.