News More than 13 000 nurses appointed during COVID-19 pandemic

More than 13 000 nurses appointed during COVID-19 pandemic

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The Minister of Health Dr Zweli Mkhize has lauded the appointment of 13 135 nurses across South Africa, amid the battle against the coronavirus, saying it proved that such a high figure could be reached in a short space of time.

Mkhize spoke at the Society of Private Nurse Practitioners of SA conference on Sunday, 13 September 2020.

The minister’s comments come as employees in the health sector are unhappy with some of their working conditions and are making a series of demands to the government, which include higher wages.

As of Sunday, the country’s COVID-19 figure is at 649,793 after 1,579 cases were picked up in a 24-hour period.

The country’s death toll has also risen to 15,447 after 20 more people succumbed to the respiratory disease. However, there is some good news in the country’s fight against the virus as the recovery rate has increased to 88.9% with more than 577,000 people managing to beat the coronavirus.

“Our recovery rate is now almost at 90% and our mortality rate has remained stable at around 2%,” the minister said.

Mkhize applauds SA nurses

Mkhize has also paid tribute to nurses and midwives, saying the strides made in countering the spread of the coronavirus would not have been possible because of their passion, dedication and sheer diligence.

“We thank you for braving the threat of being infected yourself, and even of death,” he said.

The minister further touched on the Nursing Now campaign, which is aimed at ensuring that nurses and midwives have a more prominent voice in health policy-making as well as recruiting more nurses into leadership positions.

“In December last year, I had the privilege of launching the Nursing Now campaign, a three-year campaign initiated by the global nursing community with the sole objective of improving health care delivery to our people,” he said.

“Indeed, these key focus points align perfectly with the objectives of the Presidential Health Compact, The Quality Improvement Plan and, ultimately, the National Health Insurance.”

Mkhize has also thanked the nurses for making his job easier as the minister.

“I want to assure you that I share your aspirations of a better world through the work that we do to secure a healthy population for quality of life and prosperity for all.”

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