Celebrating 27 years of uniting nurses

Address by Dr Anban Pillay – Deputy Director General in the NDoH


Address by Dr Anban Pillay – Deputy Director General in the NDoH, responsible for regulation for entities and professional councils.

He commended the 25-member Council for holding the second Nursing Indaba to give account of its work over the years. “It’s an important democratic process to account on what it has done over the term.”

Emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic, he said nursing have come out victorious in the period that was full of hope and fatigue.

No amount of training would have prepared the country for the kind of pandemic that COVID-19 caused.

“Nurses made sacrifices to save lives at the cost of their own lives. A big thank you to the nurses for the sacrifices they made. If there was any doubt about the resilient role that nurses has in the healthcare profession, the COVID-19 has certainly proved them wrong.”

The WHO may have declared last week that COVID-19 is no longer an emergency, but Dr Pillay said the country’s healthcare system must remain ready at all times for pandemics of the size and scale of COVID-19.

He commended the Council for two things: restoring the nurses into register who were willing to return to the profession and assist with COVID-19 pandemic free of charge, and also for not increasing the fees.

Citing the 2020 WHO/ICN report on the World State of Nursing on the need to increase nurses, he commended the recent agreement between the Council and the CHE to offer nursing programme at both under-graduate and post-graduate levels. He particularly commended the Western Cape College of Nursing for being the first college to be accredited to offer a Batchelor nursing qualification, which will see 50 students enrolled under the new curriculum.

He threw a challenge to the academic nursing community on their role in the cause against GBV, by inviting them to include programmes that will play a pivotal role in fighting GBV. He called for the speeding of the process to have Forensic Nursing accredited, for instance.

On the Presidential Health Summit that was held recently, he said it emphasised the importance of the nursing cadres in driving the healthcare system towards Universal Health Coverage (UHC).


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