Government says it still does not have funds to recruit nursing graduates in the country.
According to Minister Health and Population Atupele Muluzi, his ministry cannot hire nursing graduates without the funds to pay the recruited nurses.
In a statement, the minister said despite vacancies for nurses in the country’s health facilities lack of funding means government has not been able to automatically recruit all graduating staff.
“We really do need more staff, however, at the moment we simply do not have the funds to pay for them. I will not commit to recruit staff I cannot pay for – not only does that endanger our health budget, it wrongly sets expectations for young people that can’t be met,” Muluzi said.
To find solutions to the challenge, Muluzi has called for a meeting with stakeholders such as Secretary of Health Dr Dan Namarika, Executive Director of NONM Benson Phiri and President of The Nurses and Midwives Council Dorothy Ngoma together with her CEO Isabel Msolomba.
Muluzi will also meet chancellors of nursing colleges in the country to ensure that the number of students studying in the colleges is balanced by the projected vacancies in the Ministry of Health.
“We must find a solution to address the problem of qualified personnel unable to find work. This is not acceptable and extremely unfair to our young people who have worked so hard to graduate – they deserve more than that,” said Muluzi.
In 2016 and 2017, a total of 2,357 nurses graduated in Malawi but the Ministry of Health and Population only managed to find roles for 691; 170 Nursing Officers, 431 Nurse Midwife Technicians and 261 Community Midwife assistants.
Currently, the Ministry of Health and Population is working to fill 334 Nursing Officer (Grade I) posts and 5,648 Nurse Midwife Technician (Grade K) posts.