Patients at University Teaching Hospital, Zambia’s highest referral hospital are now being attended to by hospital maids due to the shortage of nurses. Government recently dismissed close to 300 who went on strike to demand better pay and conditions of service as promised by PF.
Following the indiscriminate dismissal the hospital engaged student nurses to man the wards, but even that has not been sufficient and has left maids with no option but to start performing nurses’ jobs.
Recently, health minister Dr. Joseph Kasonde admitted that the dismissal of nurses had left UTH crippled, but ailing dictator Michael Sata’s desire to have the nurses fired has prevailed.
The hospital maids have also complained of being overworked, they are also being made to perform duties like administering intravenous fluids (drips) to patients, administering drugs and other jobs that were initially performed by trained nurses.
Following the dismissals, wards are now only manned by one or two nurses with the rest being students and maids and the situation is feared will put many people’s lives at stake.