Oral Presentation The 26th International Nursing Philosophy Conference 2023

Nurse cooperatives; a solution to workforce shortages and maldistribution of human resources (#51)

Nkole Navy Nambao 1 , Mary C Nambao 1 , Andrew Phiri 1
  1. Best Care Nursing School, Chibombo, CENTRAL, Zambia

Zambia like many developing countries has a growing shortage of health workers not only from the increase in population but also from loss of physical beings due to either brain drain, retirement, morbidity, or mortality. In 2019 Zambia had ratios of 2.2 per 1000 population for midwives and 11.3 per 1000 population for nurses and most of these nurses and midwives are along the line of rail.  These shortages and  maldistribution of health workers especially nurses and midwives result into inequities that fuel the high mortalities in Zambia of 252/100 000 live births, 27/1000 live births  and 31/1000 live births  for Maternal, Neonatal and still births respectively. Implementation of the 2018- HRH strategy resulted in annual increase of 12% in the number of graduates from training institutions and yet only 70% of the nurses’ and 40% of the  midwives’ establishment was filled by 2021 due to insufficient fiscal space.  This,” Starvation in midst of plenty” in relation to the unemployed nurses in a country facing such huge HRH shortages calls for new innovations, one of which would be establishment of “Nurse Cooperatives”. These cooperatives can be formed and managed by nurses themselves but the government, private sector and/or community would need to enter into a memorandum of understanding on how they would be remunerated. Health Care financing options would consider the National Health Insurance scheme, funding from the private sector and utilization of the Constituency Development Funds including making communities pay in-kind. Some of the indicators for an enabling environment in Zambia is the reprioritized decentralization which has seen the increase of Constituency development funds from  K1.6 M per annum in 2020 to K28.3M per annum  in 2021. The missing ingredient are the nurses themselves to run  with this innovation and become their own employers.