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Breach of patient confidence worries Kasonde


MINISTER of Health Joseph Kasonde is concerned about the unethical conduct of some medical staff who divulge their patients’ health records.
Dr Kasonde said it is unethical for health workers to divulge their patients’ illnesses to the public.
“There is a tendency in the Zambian community to think that divulging the patients’ illnesses is something that we should enjoy and quietly believe we are showing our powers that we know so much. This is unethical,” Dr Kasonde said.
He said this in Livingstone on Friday during the first Southern Province combined graduation ceremony for 166 nurses from Macha School of Nursing and Livingstone School of Nursing and Midwifery.
Dr Kasonde said the goal of nursing is to help individuals improve, recover, maintain and achieve the best quality of life.
He is also concerned about the reluctance by graduates to serve in remote areas.
The minister said it is unfortunate that nurses do not want to serve in rural areas on grounds that this diminishes their chances of finding husbands and wives.
Dr Kasonde urged health workers to change their mind-set and serve in rural areas.
He said the graduation of 166 nurses comprising 84 registered nurses, 20 registered midwives and 62 enrolled nurses is testimony that Government is committed to improving the health of citizens through training of adequate skilled and motivated health workers.
Dr Kasonde also said Government is determined to increase staffing levels in health institutions to mitigate the shortage of staff in health facilities by training more nurses.
He said the Ministry of Health has introduced e-learning programme with the partnership of Child Fund and Bachelors of Science Nursing, which is a distance learning programme under the University of Zambia (UNZA)
Dr Kasonde said in terms of infrastructural development, Government has embarked on the construction of 650 health posts countrywide, upgrading of some clinics to first-level hospitals, construction of additional classrooms in nursing schools and modernisation and upgrading of hospital infrastructure.
And General Nursing Council of Zambia registrar Gertrude Phiri said nurses and midwives represent the largest workforce in Zambia.
“We are also the most criticised profession,” she said. “Let us get back to our ethical obligations, be accountable for our actions and protect the wellbeing of the clients.”
She urged tutors to produce highly-qualified and competent staff.

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