The government has tabled the Nurses and Midwives Bill 2022 in the National Assembly, making provision for the registration and regulation of nurses, midwives and nursing assistants.
Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony, M.P, on Wednesday, last, presented the bill, during the 46th Sitting of the Twelfth Parliament, at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC).
Presented to the House for the first time, the bill caters for the establishment of the Nurses and Midwives Council, thereby setting out the functions and powers of the body, allowing it to appoint committees.
A section of the bill creates requirements for registration and licencing before a person practices nursing, including specialist nursing or midwifery, and registration may be full or temporary.
The bill sets out the application process for licencing, and states clearly that the issuance of a licence may be refused, and a valid licence may be revoked or suspended.
Provision is made for the re-registration and also appeal against a decision on suspension, revocation, or non-renewal of a licence.
When operationalised, registers will be kept by the council and the list of nursing, and midwifery personnel who have been licenced will be published in the Gazette yearly.
Further, nurses, midwives and nursing assistants are required to renew their licences. Failure to do so within three months after the expiration date, will result in a fine being imposed.
Meanwhile, a five-member disciplinary committee will be established so that persons aggrieved by a nursing personnel’s act of professional misconduct could make a complaint.
It is clear that disciplinary action may be taken against nursing personnel convicted of an offence.
The bill also creates several offences and penalties including, practicing nursing and midwifery without being registered and licenced, fraudulently procuring or attempting to procure registration using false or fraudulent representation, and directly or indirectly holding oneself out as being a nursing personnel.
Additionally, the bill has provision for the minister to make regulation to give effect to the Act and for other specified matters. Provision is also made for the transitional provisions to deal with the current members of the Council.
Moreover, the bill ensures that the funds of the council are being audited yearly.