Mediclinic, one of South Africa's largest private hospital groups, confirmed that it is recruiting 150 nurses from India this year.
To meet shortage of skilled nursing staff, private hospitals in South Africa are recruiting senior Indian nurses for their good work ethics and ability to become efficient trainers for the local staff, according to a media report.
A report at a 2018 jobs summit indicated that the country had a shortage of more than 47,000 nurses.
The shortage of the skilled nursing staff has been attributed to several factors, including preference of highly qualified nurses to emigrate or take up contract employment in countries such as the UK, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia or New Zealand for want of higher salaries, a report in the weekly Business Times said.
Mediclinic, one of South Africa’s largest private hospital groups, confirmed that it is recruiting 150 nurses from India this year.
“To supplement our training, as an internal strategy, we will continue to recruit senior registered nurses from India,” a Mediclinic spokesperson told the Business Times.
Mediclinic started recruiting nurses from India in 2005 but could not provide details about how many among the more than 8,800 nurses it employs at its hospitals are from India.
Another company, Life Healthcare SA, said it employed 135 Indian nurses between 2008 and 2014.
Top managements at the hospital groups lauded senior Indian nurses as being very efficient trainers for local staff.
“But we find that many of them prefer coming here on short-term contracts due to family commitments,” a hospital executive said on the basis of anonymity.
The official said that the few who apply for long-term positions are usually young newly-qualified nurses, which is not the group in demand.
“They work hard, with a patient-oriented work ethic, and do not have the nine-to-five approach of many local nurses, especially those who are unionised,” the official said.
“We would be very happy to take in more nursing staff from India,” the official added.
In order to further ease out the shortage, a new general nursing qualification is expected to start this year when the first group qualifies after a four-year university degree.
An initiative between the Hospital Association of South Africa and Business Unity South Africa to train 50,000 nurses over the next eight years is also in the pipeline.