Dr. Ahmadou Lamin Samateh, the Minister of Health has disclosed ongoing plans for structural adjustments towards providing amenities for a better working condition in a conducive environment for nurses. Dr. Samateh said this at a well-attended forum of nurses and health workers during International Nurses Day commemoration.
Nurses at the country's Major Referral Hospital in Banjul have engaged the authorities on several occasions for better working conditions in Hospitals across the country, claiming that Government has neglected their plights for too long. It was just recently that nurses held a press briefing, threatening to take alternative action if their demands were not met.
"We will do everything humanely possible, to fix all our hospitals and health facilities, and provide amenities for well-deserved breaks and rest period," he said. He promised that efforts will be strengthened in providing basic equipment in every health facility throughout the country, to facilitate quality delivery of services; that modalities are in place for nurses to gain advance training both within and outside the country. "I have received with pleasure, plans to upgrade the two Schools of Enrolled Nurses for general and community health nurse training," he said.
He thanked partners such as UNFPA and UNICEF for their commitment and support adding that the Directorate of Nursing Services (DNS), has also secured approval to review the scheme of service for Nurses. He said preliminary engagements with the Personnel Management Office has already commenced to this effect. "We are optimistic that this review will provide clear job descriptions for all cadre of nurses," he said; that this will culminate in the production of more responsive schemes of service to meet current realities and new trends in the nursing profession. "My ministry is working to sort out the issue of space for the DNS to function at full capacity, and be able to preside over nurses with ease, speed and precision," he said; that his Ministry recognizes the achievements of the Gambia Nurses and Midwives Council, in regulating nursing in the country.
Dr. Samateh commended the Council for the introduction of the National Nursing Education and Practice Licensure Examination in the country; that this is very much in line with international best practice in ensuring that highly competent nurses are available for the delivery of quality health services to the people of the Gambia.