Nurses annual fee a must
Members of the Nursing Council of Namibia has been complaining about the compulsory annual maintenance fee which they pay to the council depending on whether a practitioner is an enrolled or registered nurse.
One of the unhappy members of the council, a young nurse from the Oshikoto region, said they know it is compulsory to pay the annual fee, however, they do not know where the money is going and what it is being used for.
The nurse, who chose to remain anonymous, said they want an explanation.
This week, the Economist spoke to Cornelius Weyulu, the acting registrar: Health Professions Councils of Namibia (HPCNA), to discuss this issue.
The council which currently has a total number of 8 074 nurse practitioners country wide requires every nurse (enrolled or registered) to pay an annual maintenance fee of N$200 for the enrolled practitioners and N$250 for the registered practitioners in order to maintain their registration with the council.
Weyulu said that the council is not an association or a society where nurses have the option of not being members, but a statutory body which regulates the education and the practice of nursing and midwifery in Namibia.
He said no person may practice nursing and midwifery without having been enrolled or registered with the Nursing Council.
According to Weyulu, the money paid to the Nursing Council “is used to defray expenses incurred in connection with the exercise of the powers and the performance of the duties and functions of the Nursing Council as provided for in the Nursing Act of Namibia.”
In terms of the Nursing Act of Namibia, one of the objectives of the council is to register or enroll persons to practice such professions, or remove the name of a registered person or an enrolled person from a register or roll and as such, section 26 of the Act provides the grounds on which such action may be taken by the Council and once a name of a registrant is removed from the register or roll such a person may no longer practice nursing and/or midwifery in Namibia.
As required by the Act, the council keeps full and correct accounts of all moneys received or expended by it, said Weyulu.
An annual statement of its income and expenditure is prepared every financial year, including a balance sheet reflecting its financial position as at end of the financial year concerned. This annual statement and balance sheet are audited annually by registered accountants and auditors. For purposes of tabling in Parliament, every year the Council submits to the Minister of Health and Social Services a report of its activities during such financial year, together with a copy of the audited statement and the balance sheet in respect of the financial year concerned.
In accordance with the provisions of the Nursing Act, Weyulu said “the audited statement and balance sheet lie open at the Registrar’s office for inspection by any registered or enrolled person as the registrant concerned has the full right to know what they money he or she pays to Council is used for what for that reason.”