Thursday, August 18, 2022

Proposed merger of medical bodies sparks resistance among members

The Nursing and Midwifery Council of Botswana (NMCB) is fighting to reverse the decision that it should merge with the Botswana Health Professions Council.

Addressing Gaborone City Councillors, the NMCB spokesperson, Khumo Modisaemang, said there was inadequate consultation between them and the ministry.

She said they are frustrated that cabinet had endorsed the merger but did not know the reasons advanced by the Ministry of Health to influence the cabinet’s decision.

NMCB is appealing to the City Council to assist them to reverse the decision in order to allow for more thorough consultation before the decision reaches parliament.

Specially-Elected Councillor, Rupert Hambira, with the support of a majority of councillors, came up with a resolution to write a letter to the minister, asking him to reverse his decision.
He said that the letter should also be dispatched to the five Members of Parliament in Gaborone to add their input on what could be done to resolve the matter.

Hambira said that the government should go back to consult again to avoid any unrest in the health profession.

Recently, a bill was returned from parliament because the Councillors and some Parliamentarians had made it clear that councillors were not properly consulted.

“So it is the same process with the current bill,” Hambira said. “If people are not happy, then really we should go to the drawing table and consult with everybody.”

He added: “Like the officials said, who will be above who as they perform different tasks in their professional? Doctors and nurses perform different tasks in their own right.”

He pointed out that if the nurses are disgruntled the function of the body will be curtailed because the majority of their members who make up the body are not happy with the arrangement and ultimately this will bring disturbances in their working environment.

”When you see some officials sabotaging the process, it is because they have never been happy from the beginning,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Nursing and Midwifery Council Registry said the working conditions for nurses are unfavourable as most of them are overworked.

Answering questions from councillors, Modisaemang said that the prescribed number of patients per nurse is 10 per working day but pointed out that, in Botswana, a nurse attends up to 40 patients a day, making their job risky as they may make mistakes.

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