The decision by the Ministry of Finance which compels all government hospitals that offer nurse training courses to reduce student nurse intakes has been described as a major drawback to the countryâ€™s efforts of revitalising the health sector.
The remarks were made by Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals chief executive, Mr. Thomas Zigora at the 2011 nursesâ€™ graduation ceremony held in Harare.
Mr. Zigora said Parirenyatwa hospital used to train 150 nurses every year, but now the institution has been authorised to train only 60 nurses per year.
He said the sustainability of this policy will need to be considered before the country is faced with a problem of annual terminations exceeding output from the training schools.
Guest of honour at the graduation ceremony, TN Holdings chief executive, Mr. Tawanda Nyambirai called on stakeholders to create a system that gives due recognition to the work that is done by people employed in the health sector especially nurses, by awarding them salaries that are commensurate with their job.
Various speakers at the graduation ceremony who included the Principal Tutor, Principal Nursing Officer, and the Principal Tutor at the School of Midwifery bemoaned the shortage of staff at the hospital which is having a negative impact on the training programmes as the students require clinical experience.
Parirenyatwa hospital is the countryâ€™s premier teaching and training institution and the second graduation for 2011 saw 165 general nurses, 13 nurse anesthetists, 12 intensive and coronary care, 15 theatre and 26 ophthalmic nurses receiving their certificates and diplomas.