As part of their new policy, the Harare Central Hospital intends to whittle down the number of prospective nurses to be trained per intake, amid indications that the institution does not have enough tutors.
By Kudakwashe Pembere
This was said by HCH chief executive officer at the institution’s nurse graduation ceremony in Harare on Friday.He said investigations carried out by the Zimbabwe Council of Nurses revealed that there was a production of half-baked nurses which came as a result of fewer tutors.
“The recent output of nurses showed that the pass rate was lower than other years. As the Zimbabwe Nurses Council did their investigations into what could have happened, the two main issues that emerged were that the tutor-student ratio is also very low,” he said. “So you have 72 students versus maybe six tutors.”
He said that the number of nurse training recruitment will be reduced to 35.
“One of the major issues I would like everyone to know is that we have a shortage of tutors which has prompted a change of policy in recruitment of our nurse trainees.
“So some of you might have seen or heard, that we are going to have a reduction in number of trainees per intake. From the current 72 to 35. We are also going to take trainees who passed their O Levels in one sitting and have Maths and Science. So I didn’t want you to hear from anybody else,” said Dr Masuka.
Hand delivered applications will no longer be accepted as HCH now uses the Post office. Dr Masuka said applicants with at least two As at O Level will be considered.
“Number two, we only select those with one sitting and have passes that include Maths and Science, and for Harare Hospital for example, we will be selecting those with at least 2 As at O Level, and then everybody’s application will come through the Post Office, no hand delivered applications,” he said.
He added that there will be a strict application review process.
“Thirdly we will do a lottery of one in three where we will invite the public to pick out the applications. Those applicants will be given candidate numbers so that nobody knows their name. and then we will have like a panelist selected anonymously so that the people who interview those applicants do not know them or have no connections with them.
“This is how we are trying to encourage transparency within the recruitment making sure we have quality applicants, make sure they get quality education and make sure they get the competent skills.
Dr Masuka noted that this new system will be effected on the new applicants from here on end.
“Our advert was up to the 14 th of October, so with this current batch that is coming we are going to put that into effect. So we are not going to accept any hand delivered applications because that’s were the problem was where we ended up having piles of hand delivered applications,” he said.
Speaking at the same event, Health and Childcare Minister Dr Obadiah Moyo said Government is working on introducing an online portal for the enrollment of nurses requiring training to curb corruption during recruitment
“When Dr (Nyasha)Masuka spoke about the change in policy the entry points, he is for real. This will enable us to have a better qualified cadres into this very very noble profession. And it will ensure that the profession remains well supported by cadres who are of the correct constitution,” he said.
He revealed an online conscription method is the cards.
“We are going to be introducing the online system of application which will ensure reduction in corruption in recruitment,” the Minister said.
The Health Minister noted with reproof how aspiring nurses forked out hefty amounts to be guaranteed a place for training.
“People are having to pay $2 000 in order to become nurses and we condemn that severely,” he said adding, “ We are not going to continue watching people being corrupt and ensure that through the online system, the corruption rate will come down to zero.”