The Ministry of Health has lost 800 nurses in the last 12 months.
Highlighting this in Parliament today, Health Minister Dr Atonio Lalabalavu said the Ministry’s greatest challenge now is maintaining its human resources at an optimal level for the services it provides.
“The attrition rate for health care workers has been abnormally high over the last 12 to 24 months and facilitated by many pull and push factors that include emigration, the search for greener pastures, education, family welfare, higher salaries and aggressive recruitment techniques by overseas recruitment agencies and local private hospitals.”
Dr Lalabalavu said the Ministry has also lost out a great number of doctors, pharmacists, laboratory technicians, medical imagining technologists and others in the health care sector.
He said these losses impact their ability to deliver quality services and also increases the burden for those who remain with the Ministry.
“The Ministry of Health has been working hard in recruiting health care workers, particularly nurses.”
“A total of 206 nurses were recruited in November 2022. A further 18 nurses have been recruited after November 2022 and a further 162 registered nurse are expected to be recruited in May this year, while 44 registered nurse later this year…bringing the total number of registered nurse to be recruited to 230.”
He further added that 237 nurse graduates will be recruited as intern nurse in June this year.
The Ministry will establish 50 new nursing assistants and 50 new nursing aide positions and will be advertised shortly for recruitment to support our nursing teams at our hospitals and health care facilities.
For Doctors, a total of 150 medical interns were recruited in January of this year while 80 Medical Officers (MOs) have been recruited as of today, with the remaining to be recruited as soon as they complete their internship.