Newly registered nurses calls on Govt’ to address SPP challenges.

Newly registered nurses have called on the government to address challenges faced during their Nurses Supervised Practice Program (SPP) period.

A total of 141 nurses were commissioned and awarded full registration during a ceremony in Honiara yesterday.

Group photo of the newly registered nurses.

Delivering her remarks at the ceremony, Nurse representative, Fatyma Reani said these challenges include delayed payment of transport allowances, high number of Part 1 registered nurses during the SPP and lack of transportation.

“We rely on allowances to meet the cost of transport to and from health facilities during the entire SPP. We suffered a lot due to the delay. As I speak, allowances for three blocks are yet to be paid to us. We badly need the allowances so that we can clear the debts that were incurred by us to meet important obligations.”

“The number of part 1 registered nurses is too large to be managed and supervised. This is challenging in the hospital wards where there are too many Part 1 registered nurses coupled with student nurses. Also, transport problems during the entire SPP due to lack of vehicles, the delay of transport allowances and lack of funding support to rural health facilities,” Ms. Reani said.

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The government this year allocated a total of $5.17 million SBD for the implementation of the Nurses Supervised Program where 31 percent of this amount was provided by the government of Australia.

Supervising Deputy Secretary Corporate in the Ministry of Health and Medical Services, Ivan Ghemu confirmed during the ceremony that 91 percent of the allocated amount has been utilized as of September this year, while the remaining funds are currently being worked on for allocation.

Ms. Reani then called on the Ministry of Health to facilitate the payment of their allowances and to consider procuring a designated vehicle for the SPP as it is an annual program of the nursing council.

She further suggested that the number of Part 1 registered nurses for SPP be reviewed to ensure efficient management and supervision.

Meanwhile, Chair of the Solomon Islands Nursing Council Board, Michael Larui confirmed to SIBC News that the Ministry of Health is now working on the process of facilitating allowance payments for the nurses.

“The Ministry in partnership with the Australian Government is now working on this and it will take maybe some time before their outstanding allowances are paid to them. But I can assure you that they are working on it now.”

“On the issue of the large number of Part 1 registered nurses, we have met with the faculty of nursing at the Solomon Islands National University and one of the areas that was discussed is this. The nursing council registers whatever number is recruited, enrolled, and graduated by the nursing faculty so we hope that more discussions following from this will address the issue of numbers.”

Mr. Larui also assures that they will follow through with respective authorities to make sure that   concerns regarding transportation are considered.

SIBC News understands, the SPP is a one-year program which is aimed at preparing nurses for registration and employment.

The government through the Ministry of Health has been supporting the SPP with annual funding through the nursing council board annual operational plan, with support from the Australian Government.

ENDS//

By Eliza Kukutu

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