The Parliament of Sierra Leone has on Tuesday 31st January 2023 passed into law with some amendments the “Sierra Leone Nursing and Midwifery Council Act 2023”.
The Bill is said to seek the establishment of the Sierra Leone Nursing and Midwifery Council, to provide for the education, training, discipline, certification, registration, and licensing of nurses and midwifery throughout Sierra Leone, to provide for the accreditation of nursing and midwifery educational institutions, to provide for the regulation of the practice of nursing and midwifery generally and to provide for other related matters.
Deputy Minister of Health and Sanitation, Mrs. Princes Dugba while presenting the bill to Parliament, before its enactment said the bill provides for the training, practices, and regulations for nursing of midwifery, adding that, when the bill would have been enacted into law, it would create a considerable council for helping the nursing and midwifery to archive their regulations adding that the bill had a wider consultation with stakeholders in the various regions and inputs were made.
While giving his submission to the debate, the Parliamentary Chairperson on Health and Sanitation, Hon. Moses Jokie said the bill before the House is nice and acknowledged the importance of the document.
He stated that as an opposition, they were in support of the bill in front of the House; adding that the document is not difficult but requested the House to examine the role of nurses and doctors in the country for an effective input in the health sector, and the need to monitor all nursing training institutions with accredited certificates.
He recalled an encounter with the nurses and used the opportunity to query some of their activities, in light of performing the State functions. The MP called for proper implementation and monitoring mechanisms of nurses. He asked the Ministry of Health and Sanitation to seek the welfare of nurses because according to him, they are performing State functions.
Hon. Neneh Lebbie said the bill is not controversial and applauded the Deputy Minister for bringing the bill on time. She said the medical field is a “noble profession”, underscored the importance of the enactment of the bill, and also recommended that standards be respected in the medical field.
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Making his submission to the debate, the Chief Whip of Parliament, Hon. Dickson Rogers referred to the bill as non-controversial. He commended the Government for empowering women in society “this bill is a novelty”, and went on to state that, the bill would address the issues of uncredited nursing institutions and pin codes challenges.
He also called for the improvement and welfare of nurses in the country.
The Leader of C4C in Parliament, Hon. Saa Emerson Lamin said the bill, when enacted into law would add dignity and respect to nurses and went on to highlight the nature of the bill, relative to the numeration and benefits of nurses.
The Leader used the opportunity to recall his Mother’s role in the nursing field and informed the House that, she would be proud of him for contributing to the welfare of nurses and midwifery.
He spoke on the negative attitude of nurses during work “passion is gradually fading away, because the attitude of nurses is very bad” he expressed, and went further to state that they should change their attitude toward their job.
Hon. Emilia Lolloh Tongi, an Independent MP from Kailahun District appreciated the work of nurses around the world and called for proper vetting of nurses before certification and pin codes are awarded to them.
Rounding up the debate, the Acting Leader of the Opposition Hon. Mohamed Bangura said the bill would give respect to the nurses of Sierra leone; adding that nurses are challenged and used the opportunity to request the House to ensure that, proper attention is given to them. “For far too long, the nurses are less catered for”, and went further to plead for their welfare
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Concluding the debate, Hon. Mathew Sahr Nyuma, the Leader of Government Business commended MPs for their contributions and clarified that “the bill seeks to address the practices and regulations of nurses” and also underscored the importance of the document towards the nursing sector. He said the bill would provide for a council that would be charged with the responsibility to address issues of regulating the operational activities of nurses in the country. He said also the bill would seek to clarify fake certificates and the award of pin codes.
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