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Re-launch of the Henrietta Stockdale Nursing College Council

Keynote address by the Honorable MEC for Health, Mr Mxolisi Sokatsha, on the occasion of the official re-launch of the Henrietta Stockdale Nursing College Council. Kimberley, Frances Baard District – Northern Cape, 24 November 2011: 10h00

Trava Mista Cano Alto


Programme Director

Representatives from the Department of Education

Representatives from the National Institute of Higher Education (NIHE)

Officials from the University of the Freestate

Senior Managers and Departmental officials from the Henriette Stockdale Nursing College and the Department of Health

Members of the media

Distinguished Guests

Ladies and Gentlemen

We are gathered here today to celebrate and be part of a very important and joyous occasion. Today we are re-launching the Northern Cape Henriette Stockdale Nursing College Council.

The principles of “Batho Pele – People first” are guiding us to implement government’s mandate of improving service delivery and providing a better life for all. It is the responsibility of government to uphold, implement and realize these principles. The first principle of consultation is in essence guiding the way for the functioning of the Nursing Council. Consultation within the health training sector and between all relevant strategic stakeholders is and will be of utmost importance.  

Consultation between members, between colleagues, clients, students, communities and key stakeholders will be the key element in order for us to be clear on what the needs and challenges for the Nursing college are relating to training and health care service delivery and how best the council can and will address those needs and challenges.

Ladies and gentlemen, after the April 2009 national elections Health was prioritized as part of the five priority areas to which the ANC led government has committed to deliver on in the next five years. In support of this, the establishment of key structures focusing on improving the health sector as well as effective and efficient monitoring and evaluation is important in achieving our set goals and objectives.

The Northern Cape Henriette Stockdale Nursing College Council aims put together a dynamic team of highly committed members from different community and organized sectors representing key stakeholders in the health training sector.  

Programme director, in terms of the Memorandum of Agreement between the Northern Cape Department of Health and University of the Freestate, the Member of the Executive Council for Health in the Northern Cape Department of Health appoints all members of the College Council for a period of five(5) years. The main responsibilities of the Henriette Stockdale Nursing College Council will be:

    * Good governance of the college generally
    * Proper control over college finances
    * The promotion and enhancement of the college status and prestige
    * Encouraging dedication, devotion and duty amongst lecturers, learner nurses and administrative staff of the college
    * Making recommendations concerning fixed establishments or creation, adaptation or removal of posts at the college
    * Making disciplinary rules and prescribe a code of conduct, which is binding on all learner nurses of the college, as well as the disciplinary procedures to be followed in the case of breaches of any such rules or code of conduct
    * Approving the rules regulating learner selection, admission, tuition, examinations, promotions and graduation
    * Ensuring that control is exercised over all organized student activities
    * Advising the Northern Cape Department of Health in matters arising from any misconduct of inefficiency on the part of college personnel

In addition, members of the College Council must be persons with knowledge and experience relevant to the interest and governance of the College and participate in the deliberations of the College Council in the best interest of the College. I can vouch that the council members chosen are indeed in line with these requirements.

Programme director, the health sector is one of the sectors where the constitutional spirit of interrelatedness and interdependence must be expressed. Partnerships are key and bodies and councils that are capacitated to perform a monitoring function are of utmost importance. It is therefore important for everyone in the health training sector to pull their skills, abilities, knowledge and experience to ensure training and health service delivery is speed up and challenges are faced head on. Colleagues, a long road lies ahead of us who will include long hours and hard work.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Northern Cape Department of Health’s biggest challenge is the shortage of health professionals in terms of nurses and doctors in especially our rural areas. It is the responsibility of the Nursing College to address this challenge and in this light one hundred and thirteen (113) student nurses from cross the province are at different stages –first  year, second year and repeat of the four(4) year comprehensive nursing course.   

In addition, the Cuban Medicine programme provides additional support in addressing the shortage of doctors. Currently, the Northern Cape Department of Health has thirty-six(36) medicine students on the Cuban Medicine Programme. The Department has once again awarded twelve (12) students from within the five(5) provincial Districts of the province, an opportunity to study Medicine in Cuba from October 2011.  

Government, making  health a priority for the next five years, is pleased to witness the injection of a group of future nursing and health professionals into our health care system with the aim of increasing the number of qualified health care professionals in our province and our country.

Nominees availing themselves to serve on the Nursing College Council are greatly appreciated and it shows commitment and willingness to contribute to bettering health care service to all in the province.

I want to take this opportunity to motivate all to support government’s HCT(HIV Counseling and Testing) Campaign and call upon you to visit your nearest health facility to get tested for HIV and know your status.  

Ladies and gentlemen, furthermore, I would like to remind you that tomorrow we are starting an important international and national campaign namely the 16 Days of Activism of No violence against women and children campaign. From 25 November-10 December 2011, the South African Government will run the 16 Days of Activism Campaign to make people aware of the negative impact of violence on women and children and to act against abuse. We call on your support for all related programmes and events for the campaign.

In closing, I express my deepest hope and expectations that we will all work together and through this council ensure that the goals and objectives of the Northern Cape Provincial Government, through the Department of Health, of transforming and bettering the health system of our province, are realized.

Working together, we can do more!

Thank you.

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