Govt Should Coax Our Own Nurses Back to Namibia


I have been working and living in the U.K. with my two children since 2003, and am a nurse by profession. I have been following the current ‘debate’ between the nurses and MOHSS with keen interest. I just have a few questions for our Government leaders, and I would appreciate it very much if any top politician or senior civil servant could answer me, and the nation at large. Namibia as a country is facing a critical shortage of nurses at the moment, especilly in State-run health facilities. Apart from training more young Namibians, they are bringing in Kenyan and Cuban nurses who fail to do the work because of the language barrier. When is the government going to look at ‘better conditions of service ‘ as a way of attracting nurses back to the professsion? The call for retired nurses to go back to the hospital wards has fallen on deaf ears. Do you know the reason, Mr. Minister? it is because of the poor conditions of service. Retired nurses are better off ploughing mahangu in the fields than being exposed to infections, bed pans, blood, etc. for a few thousand dollars. State veterinary doctors (animal doctors) today are getting about three times more than State medical doctors (doctors for human beings). If our government increased salaries for State vets, why can’t they do the same for our State doctors and nurses in order to attract more professionals to our hospitals? Our people are waiting for long hours before they are attended to by doctors and nurses because of the critical shortage of these essential workers. My friend who works for the Ministry of Justice as a legal officer. Before I left Namibia, we were getting the same salary but now he is getting 4 times the salary of a nurse, and has a car allowance. The same government has given attractive conditions of service to professionals in the Ministries of Agriculture and Justice, but fails to do the same for MOHSS. WHY? I really want to come back to work in Namibia but when I think about the conditions of service, then my children are better off here. In conclusion, I would like MPs, Cabinet, the Public Service Commission and other institutions dealing with the issues I have raised, to seriously look at ways of improving conditions of service in the Risky Profession in the Public Service such as health workers, the Police, NDF and Prisons. And to you, my friend, who still believes that ‘nursing is a calling’, I just want to tell you that nurses pay bills just like any other person, and nurses have children to feed and send to school too. Namibian Nurse Working in the U.K.