Skills shortage leads RSA to recruit from India

By Drum Digital
15 July 2014

The nurses from India help fill the current gap while South African nurses are freed to do their specialist studies.

The Life Health Group has recruited 58 specialist nurses from India to serve two-year contracts at its facilities across the country.

The nurses will specialise in intensive care, neo-natal, renal and theatre work. The Port Elizabeth region has received three nurses, while the Border-Kei region received 19.

The nurses have been seconded to Life hospitals in the province. Twelve are in East London, three in Queenstown and four in Mthatha.

Pretoria has 13 Indian nurses while Johannesburg has 15, Western Cape five and KwaZulu-Natal three.

This is the second group of nurses recruited by Life from India. The first group came in 2009 and East London received seven nurses. Two of them have since settled in the city, and continue working for Life.

Life's Nursing Executive Dr Sharon Vasuthevan said: "Our foreign recruitment strategy at Life Healthcare is linked to the critical shortage of specialist nurses in South Africa."

She said in the past six months the SA Nursing Council registered only 123 nurses specialising in critical care, 81 in operating theatres and 22 in trauma and emergency for the entire country.

"We see this as a win-win situation," she said.

The Life group plans to train 120 specialist nurses annually for the next four years through the Life College of Learning and at universities across the country.

The nursing executive said India was chosen for its excellence in training and the international mobility of its nurses, especially those with an interest in working in South Africa.


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