DENOSA fully support CWU in its campaign on saving jobs at SABC

The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) is in full support of its sister affiliate CWU in its quest to save the 400 jobs that are hanging on the line at the public broadcaster, SABC.

The stance taken by the SABC Board to gun for the defenceless and vulnerable workers, who earn a pittance compared to executive management’s fat pay, bears testimony to the fact that this board has proven not to be the needed solution to saving the SABC.

They opt for a decision that will close doors of SABC in the end. As an organisation for nurses in the country, DENOSA is reliant on SABC in conveying health messages to the masses of our people in their homes and in the language they understand.

As nurses, we sympathize with the journalists who have been with us in the wards during the most difficult time in this country when COVID-19 was wreaking havoc, reporting on the scourge that was taking its toll on nurses and other healthcare workers to the nation. The Board and executive management were nowhere to be found.

It is unfortunate that now that the dust has somewhat settled for a while, the same journalists who empowered the nation with relevant information are being thrown under the bus by the ruthless board.

DENOSA appeals to both the Minister of Communications and Members of Parliament not to allow this senselessness and madness to be approved, and that they must overturn this shallow-minded decision.

DENOSA wishes every employee at SABC all the strength and calls on them to stand up and raise their voice on this struggle, which matters greatly to them.

While we pledge our solidarity, we also appeal for their support as the same challenge is likely to hit the workers in the public sector, which is starting by undermining of collective bargaining agreements.

End

Issued by DENOSA

Philippines Lifts Ban on Filipino Nurses Who Wants To Travel Out, Set 5k Annual Limit

Only 5,000 health care workers will be allowed to leave every year to ensure the Philippines, which has the second-highest number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in Southeast Asia, will have enough medical professionals to fight the pandemic, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said Saturday.

This was after President Rodrigo Duterte has approved ending a ban on deploying health care workers overseas­—nurses and other medical workers—in face of the coronavirus pandemic, which has infected more than 413,000 and killed at least 8,000 in the Philippines.

Duterte’s approval removed the bar that checked thousands of nurses to take up jobs abroad, Bello said.

This developed after nurses in public hospitals were also up in arms over an inadvertent demotion after the government raised their entry-level play to Salary Grade 15, or about P32,000 per month last July.

Instead of correspondingly upgrading the salaries of senior nurses, hospitals used the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Circular No. 2020-4 as basis against a general salary increase, the Filipino Nurses United (FNU) said.

Dated July 17, the circular was notable for upgrading nurses’ entry salary from SG 11 (about P22,000) to SG 15 (about P32,000), but it also effectively demoted long-serving nurses.

The circular modified the Nurse II position with SG 15 to the lower position of Nurse I, but with the same salary grade as Nurse II. As a result, nurses in the Nurse II to VII positions not only did not get any corresponding salary increase but were even demoted.

Last month, the Department of Health (DOH) issued Memorandum No. 2020-466 suspending the implementation of the DBM circular for Nurse II and above. According to the FNU, many hospitals ignored the order and have accordingly demoted their senior nurses.

“Thousands of nurses … suffered from demoralization and confusion as they were pressured by their employers to sign reappointment documents that demote them one rank from their current position,” the group said in a statement.

The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration suspended the deployment of doctors, nurses, and health care workers abroad to preserve its frontline force against the pandemic.

The ban took effect April 2 but was later revised to allow health workers with existing employment contracts as of March 8, 2020 to leave the country.

But the clamor mostly from nurses’ groups prompted the government to reconsider expanding the exemption to include health professionals with complete overseas employment contracts as of Aug. 31, 2020.

Around 1,000 to 1,500 nurses were affected by the temporary ban that began in April, according to POEA Administrator Bernard Olalia.

Earlier on, Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said health professionals with complete overseas employment documents as of Aug. 31, 2020 were permitted to leave the country.

Previously, only health care workers with existing employment contracts as of March 8, 2020 were allowed to work abroad as the Philippines, a key exporter of nurses and other medical workers, sought to keep a reserve force in its battle against the pandemic.

The Philippines initially suspended the deployment of doctors, nurses, and health care workers abroad effective April 2.

The ban was aimed to “prioritize human resource allocation for the national health care system at the time of the national state of emergency,” the POEA said in a memorandum.

Workers covered by the deployment ban were the following:

• Medical doctor/physician

• Nurse

• Microbiologist

• Molecular biologist

• Medical technologist

• Clinic analyst

• Respiratory therapist

• Pharmacist

• Laboratory technician

• X-ray/ radiologic technician

• Nursing assistant/nursing aid

• Operator of medical equipment

• Supervisor of health services and personal care

• Repairman of medical-hospital equipment

On October 1, the DOLE said it was open to lifting the overseas deployment ban on Filipino health workers as senators raised concerns over job opportunities for nurses.

“Our minds are very, very open to the possibility of lifting the temporary suspension of deployment,” Bello said during the Senate hearing on his agency’s proposed 2021 budget.

The labor chief made the statement after Sen. Nancy Binay said other countries may opt to hire nurses from other countries since they are unable to get Filipinos due to the ban.

Binay said, “Our nurses might not find jobs abroad anymore if the ban continues for a long time, because nurses from other countries may have already been hired.”

But Bello at that time said Binay’s worry was “far fetched” as Filipino nurses were “the most preferred nurses in the world.”

Credit: https://manilastandard.net/news/top-stories/340127/du30-ends-ban-on-healthcare-workers-leaving-ph-but-sets-5k-annual-limit.html

ICN Urges All Governments To Sign WHO’s Health Worker Safety Charter And Tackle The Dangers Faced By Nurses

International Council of Nurses (ICN) welcomes World Health Organization’s Health Worker Safety Charter launched today on World Patient Safety Day, after ICN’s own survey released earlier this week showed the extent of the dangers nurses face at work.   ICN’s report, Protecting Nurses from COVID-19 a Top Priority, has revealed how governments have failed to protect nurses and confirmed that more than 1,000 have died after contracting the virus.  

The report contains the results of a world-wide survey which lays bare the severity and magnitude of the dangers nurses and other healthcare workers face in the line of duty.

ICN Chief Executive Office Howard Catton said:   “Our report confirmed the magnitude and the severity of the risks nurses and healthcare workers (HCWs) around the world are facing now. More than 1,000 nurses have died, millions are infected with the coronavirus, shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) still exist, staff are not routinely being tested and they are still subject to violence and discrimination.  

‘Governments around the world have been slow or failed to protect nurses and others from the effects of the pandemic, and that’s why we’re calling on all governments, right here, right now, to sign the WHO charter and act on it.”   ICN has long argued that the safety of nurses and other healthcare workers should be a priority for governments so that patient safety can be guaranteed. It worked with WHO to develop the charter – Mr Catton is a member of WHO’s Patient Safety Network – and made recommendations about what needs to be done.  

The Charter contains many of ICN’s recommendations, including on zero tolerance of violence and abuse, safe staffing levels, reducing work-related stress, improving work-life balance, having all the equipment needed to do the job safely, including PPE, and open communication in the workplace.  

ICN is firmly backing the Charter and will work with its National Nursing Associations to encourage all governments to sign up and identify those that do not.   “The world already has a severe shortage of nurses: it cannot afford to lose any more, especially not now at the height of a global pandemic.  

‘As our report shows, it is hugely important for healthcare worker safety to be centre stage in the design and delivery of healthcare services.  

‘The pandemic is far from over and while the applause has stopped, nurses and the patients they care for are still in the eye of this deadly storm. Governments must commit to putting the safety of their healthcare workers at the centre of how their health systems are organised and managed. Doing so will improve health outcomes for their people and increase safety and security for their staff, and it will save nurses’ lives.”  

The theme of today’s WHO Patient Safety Day is Health Worker Safety: A Priority for Patient Safety.  

Mr Catton concluded, “Our report and the Charter recognise that health worker safety and patient safety are two sides of the same coin – you cannot have one without the other they are indivisible.”  

Source: ICN

ICN Report Shows Governments Are Failing To Prioritize Nurses As Number Of Confirmed COVID-19 Nurse Deaths Passes 1000

On the eve of the World Health Organization’s World Patient Safety Day which this year focuses on health workforce safety, the International Council of Nurses (ICN) launches its latest COVID-19 report.

The report which includes a survey of a number of ICN’s National Nurses Associations reveals the continuing and catastrophic increase in the number of deaths and infection rates of nurses due to COVID-19.

ICN calls on governments to address their collective failure to prioritize health workers across the board, including lack of data collection on infection rates and inadequate PPE, particularly in care homes, as well as inadequate testing and IPC training, plus extensive reports of violence and discrimination against nurses, and a lack of mental health support.  

The report finds that more than 1000 nurses have died in 44 countries where data was available, with health worker infection rates on average around 10% of total infections globally.

This suggests that with almost 30 million people infected with the virus, as many as three million may be health workers. The survey also reveals less than half of countries surveyed classify COVID-19 as an occupational disease, which has serious implications for compensation from illness to death.

ICN President Annette Kennedy said, “ICN’s latest survey is a disturbing snapshot of how nurses and other health workers are still being exposed to COVID-19 and all its associated risks, including violence and prejudice, mental illness, infection and in what we now believe to be possibly thousands of cases, making the ultimate sacrifice by paying with their lives.  

‘We talk about the new norm created by the pandemic, but it has also confirmed some long-understood truths in the nursing community, that nurses are undervalued, underpaid and sometimes treated as expendable. This is a scandalous situation which ICN urges governments to rectify.”  

ICN CEO Howard Catton said, “The report’s findings add to a growing list of failures by governments to act to protect nurses and other health workers during the pandemic.

By not collecting data on deaths and infections or recognising COVID-19 as an occupational disease, governments are effectively looking the other way. The consequence is that staff are left without equipment, training, testing, mental health or financial support. Make no mistake: by putting staff at risk governments are also putting patients at risk.

This ICN COVID-19 report coincides later this week with World Patient Safety Day which will shine further light on health workforce safety. The simple and undeniable truth is that health workforce safety and patient safety are two sides of the same coin, you cannot have one without the other.”  

Commenting on the breadth and depth of the psychological pressures nurses are facing highlighted by the survey, Mr. Catton said, “There is a huge hidden mental health risk to our nursing workforce submerged below the surface of the pandemic. ICN research indicates the real scale of the mental health legacy of COVID-19 will undoubtedly mean that sickness, absenteeism, burnout and nurses leaving the profession because of ill health will increase, making shortages even more severe and resulting in an unquantifiable loss of experience.”  

Source: ICN Press Release

RCN Considers 2021 vote on Re-joining International Council of Nursing

Discussions are underway at the Royal College of Nursing for a potential 2021 vote on the college re-joining the International Council of Nurses.

The RCN International Committee is liaising with RCN Council on ways it could consult members on the issue ahead of a possible vote at the RCN annual general meeting (AGM) next year.

The college left the ICN, a global network of more than 100 national nursing organisations, in 2013 over concerns about costs.

For more than three years, the We Are Global Nurses group – made up of RCN members – has been lobbying for the college to sign back up, and managed to secure a debate on the matter at RCN Congress in 2019.

RCN Council subsequently agreed to gather details of membership from the ICN, to ensure the latest information was available ready for a vote on re-joining.

The ICN International Committee met on 8 September to discuss the next steps. The committee will now make recommendations to RCN Council on how an engagement exercise with members could be held ahead of a potential vote on ICN membership at the 2021 AGM.

Nurse campaigners fighting for the move told Nursing Times they were “really pleased” that such developments had been made.

Previously, We Are Global Nurses had raised concerns after writing several letters to RCN leaders seeking updates but receiving no reply.

However, at the end of February the RCN had confirmed to the group that it was involved in an “ongoing dialogue” with the ICN.

In a joint statement, registered nurses Jeni Watts and Paul Jebb, who are leading the campaign for ICN membership, welcomed the latest update, although noted their “frustration” at how long the process had taken.

They said the events of 2020 had shown that there was “never a better time to have the strength, power and unity of a global alliance” and that few issues affecting nursing – such as pay and safe staffing – were unique to the UK.

“Ultimately it will be the decision of all RCN members if we re-join but our group will continue to raise awareness of the importance of global working, solidarity, and the good work of ICN,” they added.

“We have full confidence that RCN Council will ensure a meaningful conversation on global nursing and what we can gain and give through this global alliance.”

The ICN has taken a leading role in campaigning on behalf of nurses during the coronavirus pandemic on issues including personal protective equipment and abuse against nurses.

Its current chief executive, Howard Catton, was head of policy and international affairs at the RCN for 10 years before taking up a role with the ICN in 2016.

Source: https://www.nursingtimes.net/news/leadership-news/rcn-schedules-2021-vote-on-re-joining-global-nursing-federation-18-09-2020/

CGFNS Expands Services To Criminal Background Checks (Fingerprints) For Nurses

You will now be able to complete your criminal background check to board of Nursing through CGFNS

Global mobility is a defining feature of today’s workforce. For many organizations, this requires more comprehensive screening systems to make better informed decisions about their applicants, especially as technology enables increasingly sophisticated fraud and as public and patient safety is on the line during the current pandemic.

As the leading authority on international health professional credentials and licensure, CGFNS International, Inc. is pleased to announce the expansion of its authentication and verification services to include international criminal background forensics capabilities.

“CGFNS’ rigorous evaluations and reporting—relied upon by government agencies, regulatory authorities, and other organizations—are the industry standard for capturing the qualifications of foreign-educated nurses and allied health professionals. This is because we have 43 years of experience forecasting, adapting, and developing innovative solutions to the evolving challenges our clients face in an increasingly globalized world,” said Franklin A. Shaffer, EdD, RN, FAAN, FFNMRCSI, President and CEO of CGFNS International. “We are proud to begin offering an international background check component alongside our credentials evaluation services to further support patient safety and public safety, which are at the core of our work, that of our clients, and of course, the work of our applicants.”

Through its International Consultants of Delaware division, CGFNS piloted the integration of international criminal background checks with the launch of its Credentials Evaluation for The Association of Canadian Psychology Regulatory Organizations in July 2020 and continues to explore further opportunities across its service offerings.

As part of these efforts, CGFNS has entered into an exclusive strategic alliance with TruDiligence, an applicant screening company accredited by the Professional Background Screening Association, to ensure international criminal background forensics of CGFNS applicants are accurate, prompt, and in line with industry standards.

About CGFNS International, Inc.
Founded in 1977 and based in Philadelphia, CGFNS International is an immigration-neutral not-for-profit organization proudly serving as the world’s largest credentials evaluation organization for the nursing and allied health professions. CGFNS International is an NGO in Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and is a member of the Conference of NGOs in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations (CoNGO).

NANMM Position on Community Nursing

After acknowledging and duly respect contrary viewpoints, the community Nursing and Midwifery program is to solve a particular lingering problem. That is, getting Nurses to stay in the PHCs and very hard to reach communities.

Knowing that over 65% of our population in Nigeria live in rural areas and have a greater burden of disease, the govt waited for us as nurses to solve this problem but we didn’t until it was pressed to launch the CHEW and JCHEW programs. Dr. Ransom Kuti’s fact. He came to us nurses first. But we sounded then like we are sounding now. If we were more foresighted, today we would have been solely in charge of PHCs and regulating all those practicing one form of care or the other as done in all other countries.

The community cadre professionals solved the govt’ problem at a lower cost. It witnessed less attrition because most of them have their families in those localities. These are real community/PHC issues we have grabbled with for years. That is why the CHEW prog is resonating very well with govt. Our drawback gave room to the CHEW who have become our nightmare. Sadly, they practice nursing yet they are not regulated by the nursing council. It is an error. I don’t know of another serious country where that is the case. If I am right, I think the Medical Laboratory and Pharmaceutical councils have been able to solve their own. I think they play a critical role in regulating lab technicians and pharmacy technicians. For me, the launch of the community nursing and midwifery program should have come years ago and there would never have been any other cadre like the CHEWs not regulated by NMCN. But our failure to see the big picture is now of greater threat to our profession than any other. Better late than never though.

In almost all the other countries including the USA, UK, Australia, and Canada, every and anybody carrying out any form of CARE is licensed/ certified and regulated by the nursing council. You have cadres like home care assistants, care aids, licensed Nurses practitioners etc….some as low as 2weeks training. They all have their specific jurisdictions and duties

For the govt, it is not the name or even the “quality of care” first. “Are they going to be available and possibly cheaper?” Is their question. If Yes! With the reality of scarce resources facing every nation, govt will always appreciate available and affordability in certain circumstances like staffing PHCs even if the quality of care is not up to standard. They believe, half quality is better than no service at all. And believe it or not, if you are familiar with PHCs and hard to reach areas, that statement is 100% true. There are many PHCs that lack certified care providers CHEWs & JCHEWs inclusive. The health attendants are the best they have. And while we encourage govt to do more to equip our health centers and make it conducive, the resource available will not deliver that anytime soon no matter how you push. However, as we expect govt to do the needful, we have rural dwellers who need our care in any way possible. We won’t abandon them until the government makes the environment conducive. Your guess is as good as mine.

There is absolutely no need for us to start putting up #tags or campaign against this!

Just last week we were talking about how nurses no longer conduct ANC palpitations, delivery and IVs in some hospitals but on the contrary, the CHEWS and JCHEWs are being trained to undertake greater roles including delivery. Funny enough, CHEWS hare not just taking charge of the PHCs, they are also employed by GHs, Tertiary hospitals and private as care assistance and nurses respectively. That gives them more employability scope than we nurses.

Please, we need to do more to regain our place in the PHCs management as seen in other countries. PHCs are managed purely by Nurses. As preventive care takes centre stage globally, the PHCs in the target of 80% attending to people at community level.

Hence a clarion call to Nurses to emulate global changes in health care delivery system most especially in Nigeria, so that we avoid our previous mistakes.

NANNM, Kano.

UK Govt Increases Immigration Health Surcharge to £624 from October 2020

Foreign Nurses, Doctors and other migrants planning to migrate to UK will now have to spend more money than before as the immigration health surcharge (IHS fees) is set to increase from £400 to £624 per year with effect from October, 2020 .

The new figure will apply for all surcharge liable non-EEA migrants (and their dependents) from October 2020, expanding to include EEA migrants from January 2021.

The measure also increases the discounted rate for students, their dependents and those on the Youth Mobility Scheme from £300 to £470. The surcharge will also be set at £470 for all children under the age of 18.

The news of an increased surcharge is not unexpected according tonhsemployers.org and was part of the Conservative manifesto in November 2019, but the exact timing has now been confirmed.

NUC Approves Nursing, Three Other New Courses for Trinity Varsity Yaba

The National Universities Commission (NUC) has approved four new courses at degree level for Trinity University, Yaba, Lagos. The courses are Nursing Science, Medical Laboratory Science, International Relations and Diplomacy and Physics with Electronics. Subsequently, the institution has commenced admission of students to these new programmes for the current academic session of 2019/2020.

According to the university’s management, the development was made possible due to the institution’s excellent facilities for effective teaching, learning and practicals, which were inspected by the NUC before the approval.

The institution’s vice chancellor, Professor Charles Korede Ayo, expressed delight at the development, describing it as a vital contribution to the tertiary education sector in the country.

“This will make a significant contribution and a welcome relief to many students who were not able to gain admission for these highly-competitive courses in the universities. It will also be good news to parents and guardians and potential students that the fees are moderate,” he said.

In a chat with newsmen on Friday, the Vice Chancellor assured existing and prospective students of a stimulating, dynamic and fulfilling environment for learning.

Source: Guardian Newspaper

Nigeria Produces 14,000 Nurses Annually, Council Inducts Foreign Trained Nurses

-Nigeria has a total number of  350,000 Registered Nurses
-Only 124,000  Registered Nurses are Active
-14,000 New Registered Nurses are produced annually in Nigeria

The Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria has inducted 144 graduates of nursing science of foreign universities. The inductees had completed a six month adaptation programme in Nigerian universities and passed professional examination for general nursing conducted in November 2019.

Speaking during the induction ceremony at the council’s headquarters in Abuja,  Registrar of the council, Alhaji Faruk Umar Abubakar said 317 foreign trained nurses participated in the professional examination  but only 144 were successful and inducted. He said the inductees were graduates of Bachelor of Nursing Science programmes from universities in 18 countries. The countries are Egypt, Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, India, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Malaysia, Namibia, Niger, Philippines ,Sri -Lanka ,Sudan ,Turkey ,United Arab Emirates (UAE), Uganda and Ukraine.

Alhaji Faruk said the inductees had added to the country’s human resources for health thus reducing the enormous challenges of the shortage of nurses in Nigeria. “Presently we have over 350,000 registered nurses and midwives but only 124,000 are active in practice which is greatly inadequate in meeting the health challenges in our country.”

The registrar said that the council produced an average of 14,000 professional nurses annually and that it was committed to tripling the number in the next three years. He enjoined the inductees to be competent nurses, adding that it was only competent nurses that could identify patients’ needs and provide quality care for patients and consumers of healthcare.

“A great nurse should maintain high standard of professionalism in approach to work, diligent to work, good communication skills, effective interpersonal skills, attentiveness, quick problem solving abilities, promptness in responding to patients, empathic disposition, energetic and friendliness. These qualities with knowledge of professional code of practice will help you to keep within your scope of practice. Practice in line with the best available evidence.” He enjoined the foreign trained nurses to be willing to learn and yield to the counsel of experienced colleagues already working in the clinical area.

He said the board of the council has approved the training of 50,000 community midwives in the next five years across the country to work at primary health centers in the 774 local government council in Nigeria. Board chairman of the council,  Dr. Abosede Bola Ofi enjoined the inductees to adhere to the ethics of the profession, and avoid all forms of misconduct. Director Nursing Services of the Federal Ministry of Health, Mrs Veronica Okolo said the year 2020 has been declared the International Year of the Nurses and Midwife.

She urged the graduands to join efforts with the country to achieve Universal Health coverage (UHC) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Highlights of the event was the presentation of awards to the best performing inductee for the November 2019 professional examination of foreign trained nurses,  Basirat Yusuf Adejoke , and the best performing University for the professional examination,  University of Port-Harcourt.

Basirat Yusuf Adejoke, who studied nursing  in Sudan, and did her adaption progamme at the University of Ilorin,  thanked the council for the induction and promised that the inductees would do  their best to maintain best professional practice, and also promote the good name of the council at all times. She called on government at all levels for increased budgetary allocation to the health sector to  ensure provision of requisite equipment , research and quality service delivery as obtained in other climes. Aminu Aliyu,  studied at the Maryam Abacha American University of Niger, Niger  Republic.

He said he went out of the country to study because there were lots of challenges studying nursing in Nigeria. He said for instance  students were not admitted to study nursing in the country even when they pass Jamb and university examinations . He said there was a lot of corruption in Nigerian universities that he didn’t encounter  such when he travelled out to study.   

He promised to work in a Nigerian hospital with full dedication and commitment to duty. Charles Nnodi who studied nursing in the University of  Georgia, Eastern Europe, said there was need for Nigeria to adopt the use of Information Communication Technology(ICT ) in nursing education in the country. He said he would combine his international and local experiences to give patients the best. Hadiza Magaji Bakwori who studied at Nile College University, Sudan, said she would assist indigent patients and those who cannot fully fund healthcare services provided for them.

Source: Daily Trust Newspaper