More than 90 nurses enter the workforce every year. With this, comes the need to enforce good working conditions to ensure general satisfaction. The Minister for Health, Mr Jean Paul Adam, reinforced his commitment to creating a favourable workplace for practicing nurses in Seychelles, following the receipt of a list of recommendations in the form a report from the Nurses Association of the Republic of Seychelles (NARS) on Friday 14th July 2017.

The report was presented to the minister by the Chairperson of NARS, Mrs Rosie Bistoquet. It which comprises a series of proposals assembled from two consultative forums conducted amongst nurses and midwives. These meetings were conducted on both Mahe and Praslin (for La Digue nurses as well) on the 4th of March and 13th of May respectively and was also attended by Minister Adam.   

“We invited the association to reflect among its members, on some of the things that need to be addressed for nurses, and other health professionals. I was very satisfied that we had two very active consultations,” minister Adam said, addressing those present. He remarked on the dedication of the nurses and midwives as health professionals to ensure the development of their profession.

During these forums, Nurses and Midwives voiced the various challenges they face in delivering services. Five strategies or guidelines were identified to highlight the way forward. These include, Quality of Nursing, Opportunities in Nursing in the 21st Century, the Image of Nursing, Socio-Economic Welfare, and future directions for NARS.

            Minister Adam (left) receives copy of report from Ms Bistoquet (right)

Several issues were raised with regards to those five key areas. These included, staff shortage, inadequate delegation of work, little to no opportunity for nurses to develop their qualifications and many more. Responding to these, Minister Adam reassured members of the association that there recommendations would be strongly taken into account. Especially as the ministry moves forward from the steps already taken to reinforce the nursing profession.

Early this year, management staff learnt of new ways to manage workload and properly distribute work according to staff quantity. In addition, a link was established with another tertiary institution, Chamberlain University, to provide nurses and midwives with more opportunities to further their studies.

“Quality care is very much a priority, in terms of the goals that the Health Care Agency has set itself, as well as the standards that we wish to establish at the ministry,” he added. “We want to benchmark ourselves against a global standard. In terms of standard, we need the best retention strategies that encourage and keep your best staff.”

Expressing her contentment at the reaction to the report, Ms Bistoquet revealed that she expected the recommendations to be used abundantly in redefining the nursing profession. “For the first-ever consultative meeting organised, which was organised by nurses for nurses, I would say it was a huge success,” Ms Bistoquet said. “It is important therefore that nurses continuously be included, not only in decisions concerning patient’s overall care, but also in professional developments.”

Also presented with a copy of the report, was the Principal Secretary for Health, Dr Bernard Valentin, the CEO of Health Care Agency, Dr Danny Louange, the Director of NIHSS, Mrs Marylene Lucas, the Leader of the Government Business, Mr Charles De Comarmond.