The Democratic Nursing Organisation (Denosa) has raised concerns over the recruitment of South African nurses by the UK.
Denosa's Acting General Manager, Cassim Lekhoathi says there are reports that the UK is on a drive to recruit thousands of nurses, to beef up the workforce in its hospitals.
He explains why they have taken issue with this.
The level of training we have for our nurses is of high quality.— Cassim Lekhoathi, Acting general manager - DENOSA
Denosa's worry is that in 2007, the government of South Africa embarked on a retention strategy and from that time when they introduced it, prior to that a lot of nurses had gone off-shore... After six months almost 12 00 nurses came back home. It's unfortunate they did not bear the necessary fruits as we expected.— Cassim Lekhoathi, Acting general manager - Denosa
With this crisis in the UK, nurses in the UK don't want to train for nursing anymore, for them it is not appealing or rewarding.— Cassim Lekhoathi, Acting general manager - Denosa
The Department of Health must come up with a strategy to make sure that nurses are retained in the country.— Cassim Lekhoathi, Acting general manager - Denosa
Lekhoathi says the South African nurses who are poached are those with specific qualifications.
These include personnel who are highly skilled in core areas, like advanced midwives, primary healthcare and ICU intensive care nurses.
Lekhoathi maintains that nurses are patriotic and don't want to leave the country - they simply want the conditions of service to be improved.
They don't want to leave this country. What has happened in the past is when they left off-shore, family lives were broken.— Cassim Lekhoathi, Acting general manager - Denosa
They have spoken, the union has spoken, the government is not coming to the party...— Cassim Lekhoathi, Acting general manager - Denosa
They (the government) want to abuse the tax payers' money and say we will just train them and leave them up for the market, that cannot be correct.— Cassim Lekhoathi, Acting general manager - Denosa
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This article first appeared on 702 : Nursing union worried about reports the UK wants to poach skilled SA nurses