At least 2 000 nurses left the country in 2021 for greener pastures amid indications that more are likely to leave before the year ends.
Poor conditions of service for nurses have further dampened their morale and the more experienced nurses are reportedly already processing paperwork to leave the country.
Reports indicate that more people are taking up Nurse Aid courses in order to migrate to the United Kingdom (UK) and other countries where healthcare is functional.
Some nurses are reportedly undergoing English lessons and other procedures required for nurses before they migrate to countries with better working conditions.
The Citizens Health Watch (CHW) has urged authorities to address the issue of nurses’ working conditions as a matter of urgency.
Speaking to Health Times, Fungisayi Dube, a trustee with the CHW said healthcare institutions are now understaffed, with the remaining nurses now overwhelmed. Said, Dube:
What I know is that the Exodus is now out of control and hospital departments are being manned by very few people. I think that is where most of the problems are emanating from.
The saddening thing is that if you are to visit a health institution today and you try to talk to nurses, they won’t be paying much attention as they will be busy reading their English notes because they want to leave.
Those who have failed to leave the country believe maybe it is because they are cursed or something because to them, the normal thing right now is to leave and they believe they should have left the country just like their counterparts.
Our government needs to do something, the situation in the hospitals is not normal, and the grievances of nurses need to be addressed so as to address this issue of exodus of nurses.
Dube added that there should be an audit of the health delivery system to ascertain the actual number of nurses who have left the country. She said:
We need an actual audit if they are serious to turn this around. Also, we need to respond to the needs of health personnel and we need to engage them not from a position of threats but from a position of really wanting to listen and understand what’s happening.
There are no nurses and we want nurses. There are nurses who have never worked, we could make use of them.