JOHANNESBURG: A leading South African private hospital group is planning to recruit nurses from India to alleviate the huge shortage of such staff in the country. Estelle Jordaan, director of nursing at Medi-Clinic, told the Afrikaans daily Beeld here that a team from the private hospital group would be leaving for India next week to start a selection process for 60 clinical nurses. These nurses are destined for a pilot project in the Western Cape Province, where the shortage of staff is most acute. "We will conduct interviews and also have clinical tests conducted, but they will also have to assume a mentorship role by training local staff," Jordaan said.
Medi-Clinic had decided to look towards as a source in August last year after a nursing conference again highlighted the critical shortage of staff. After a Medi-Clinic team studied the quality of training, work and knowledge in Singapore, the Philippines and India, the latter emerged as the best country to launch the plan. "The nursing staff in India has unbelievable capabilities," Jordaan said, adding that the greatest problem area in South Africa was in the specialty areas of intensive care nursing and theatre staff. In recent years, poor remuneration has resulted in mass exodus of skilled and experienced nursing staff, especially to Europe and in particular to Britain. One local group, Netcare, is considering an incentive campaign to lure back South Africa nursing staff now working in Britain