It just became easier for retired nurses in SA to return, to fight Covid-19

Business Insider SA
A N95 mask on a black background.
A N95 mask. (Getty)
  • As of Thursday, the South African Nursing Council is waiving fees for nurse practitioners who want to restore their registration.
  • Nurses who have retired, or have moved into other fields, need to be registered in order to return to service and be covered under life insurance and other provisions being rapidly made to support healthcare workers.
  • On Wednesday health minister Zweli Mkhize directed "all authorities" under his control to engage retired healthcare workers, and bring them back into the system to fight Covid-19.
  • For more stories go to the Business Insider South Africa homepage.

As of Thursday, nurse practitioners can restore their registration with the South African Nursing Council free of charge.

In a special notice to update its fees, the Council set at "R0.00" the restoration fee to be paid when any nurse practitioner seeks reinstatement to help treat Covid-19 patients, or prevent the spread of the virus.

That not only removes a small financial hurdle, but streamlines the process of restoring nurses to its books.

Registration is required to work in any formal healthcare environment, but also provides access to various systems rapidly being put in place to support healthcare workers, such as free life insurance.

See also: Every healthcare worker in SA will get R10,000 in free, no-strings life cover from Old Mutual

The fees are waived for the duration of the coronavirus national state of disaster.

On Wednesday health minister Zweli Mkhize directed "all authorities" under his control to "engage with non-governmental organisations and individual retired health professionals to consider assisting government in rendering services" in areas including laboratories, mortuaries, and health facilities.

Mkhize also included a plea unusual in formal regulations.

"I would like to urge all stakeholders, sector departments, state organs, NGOs and members of the public to support the teams that are leading the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic," he wrote.

That was in a document that laid out how the mortal remains of those who die from Covid-19 should be treated, with tight deadlines for local and provincial authorities to report on where they would handle and store bodies.

See also: No kissing the dead: SA now has rules on how to handle Covid-19 mortal remains

(Compiled by Philip de Wet)

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