Message from President Faure on the occasion of Nurses Day, 12 May 2017

11 May 2017 | Health

Message from President Faure

on the occasion of Nurses Day, 12 May 2017

“Nursing, a voice to lead – Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals”

Our nurses are an integral part of our healthcare system, engaged in remarkable activities on a daily basis resulting in significant improvements to the health of patients, the population, and the health system. Today, we commemorate International Nurses Day and highlight the critical role of nurses in the delivery of essential health care services, and celebrate their contributions to the success of public health worldwide.

We stand in solidarity with our nurses and recognise their outstanding commitment to better our country. We commend their determination and sense of purpose despite the challenges of communicable diseases, non-communicable diseases, and social ills. The International theme for this year is “Nursing, a voice to lead – Achieving the  Sustainable Development Goals,” and is very relevant in the context of Seychelles. Nurses led us to incredible achievements vis-à-vis the health-related United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) up to 2015, and we count on their significant contributions again to help us achieve the health-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.

However, this year we commemorate International Nurses Day at a time when our nursing profession is in a state of urgency. The number of Seychellois nurses in our health system is dwindling. As a result, many of the long-serving exceptional nurses are being pushed to their limits both by the long hours of difficult work and the increasingly demanding health care clientele. This forms part of a global narrative where the need for qualified nursing staff fast exceeds the supply of nursing professionals.

To address its critical need, Seychelles has had to turn to the recruitment of expatriate nurses as a partial solution. This recruitment alleviates the immediate pressure while we revamp the scheme of service for nurses and develop innovative training programmes that will ensure continued development of our public health system.

Many projects to improve nursing are underway.  Many training opportunities are opening up at Bachelors and Masters level. The National Institute of Health and Social Studies will start a novel Foundation Course in July this year whose innovative techniques will attract more people to the nursing course. The Ministry of Health has launched a nationwide campaign to promote the nursing profession among secondary school students and mature adults. Next week, several leaders of the nursing industry will be trained here by World Health Organisation professionals on how to assess staffing needs according to workload.

My government is committed to improving the working conditions of nurses and ensuring that they are adequately rewarded and recognised for their hard work. Nurses have our full support in their efforts to provide innovative solutions to the challenges and demands of health care provision. We are ready to gather all the facts and discuss the changes that are needed in policy, legislation, and operations to guarantee that our nurses feel valued and satisfied.

Today on International Nurses Day, I commend the valour and professionalism of our nurses, men and women: I commend your commitment to your oath and your dedication to establish quality patient-centered care in our health system.

I commend our local institution that trains nurses, the National Institute of Health and Social Studies, for the wonderful work it is doing for pre-service and in-service nursing. I commend the Nurses Association for their collaboration with the government so that we can find solutions together. I commend the Seychelles Nurses and Midwives Council for the great work it is doing to review the Nursing and Midwifery Act and to institutionalise continuous professional development. I commend the nurses working in the private sector, and the nurses who have retired but are still caring for our population with the enthusiasm and skills they have gained over so many years of relentless dedication. I commend the Seychellois nurses working overseas and who are flying our flag with pride and excellence. I commend the foreign nurses who have come here to help us and who are doing an excellent job.

Over and above all, I commend the nurses working in the public service of Seychelles. You are the bedrock of our health system and you are valued more than you can imagine. Be strong whilst we work overtime to improve your conditions, just as you work overtime to improve our healthcare sector.

On this Nurses Day, I congratulate all nurses for their exemplary contributions, and hope to see more of our citizens join this noble profession.

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