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Govt freezes trainee nurses’ recruitment

Paidamoyo Chipunza Senior Health Reporter
GOVERNMENT will suspend recruitment of trainee nurses with effect from May next year, Health and Child Care Secretary Dr Gerald Gwinji has said. In an interview with The Herald yesterday, Dr Gwinji said this was necessitated by the need to standardise recruitment processes and procedures.

He said while recruitment has temporarily been suspended, nurse training will continue with groups already recruited.

“This is a temporary measure that we have put in place to suspend pre-recruitment for candidates who are coming into nurse training for May and September 2019 going forward.

“We just want to fine tune our policy and recruitment processes so that they are standard and uniform across our institutions.

“Therefore, we will be communicating by end of January going into early February to all institutions with regards to this so that the processes can then commence and continue,” said Dr Gwinji.

He said the groups would be subjected to new regulations to be availed in due course.

“Nurse training per se is not suspended. We have a group that will be taken in May but it will then be taken under the revised training regulations,” said Dr Gwinji.

All the training institutions have since been advised of the development.

“Please be informed that the recruitment of student nurses from May 2019 and beyond has been suspended. You should be informed of the next steps via a circular in due course,” read a memo addressed to all training institutions.

Although Dr Gwinji could not be drawn into discussing the possible policy changes. A few months ago, the ministry announced it had tightened enrolment requirements for prospective students.

They are now required to be below 30 years of age with five Ordinary Levels all obtained in one sitting. A pass in Mathematics is now mandatory. Previous requirements did not have an age limit and Mathematics was not required.

Candidates with two sittings were also considered. Government used to produce about 1  000 nurses each year from its various training institutions. The majority of the institutions used to have three intakes a year.

Hospitals have been failing to absorb all the trained nurses following a recruitment freeze by Treasury. The development saw trained nurses failing to get jobs.

Source : The Herald

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