Press Release 2/2014 Prescribing of morphine by Professional Nurses

Press Release 2/2014 Prescribing of morphine by Professional Nurses


15 August 2014





The South African Nursing Council has noted with concern a statement by DENOSA which implies that the Council is withholding “rights” of Professional Nurses to prescribe Morphine.  We regard the statement as reckless and misleading and we would like to provide clarity as follows:

The current provision is for authorised Professional Nurses to prescribe medicine from Schedule 1 to Schedule 4.  Note has to be taken that Morphine is a Schedule 6 drug, therefore outside the current provisions pertaining to the prescribing of medicine by the Professional Nurses.  It must be further noted that for a Professional Nurse, to qualify as an authorised prescriber, she/he must comply not only with the Nursing Act 2005 (Act No. 33 of 2005), but also with other legislation such as the Medicine and Related Substances Control Act (Act No. 101 of 1965) and the Pharmacy Act (Act No. 53 of 1974).  The aforesaid authorisation is issued by the Director General (DG) of Health to the practitioners who met the prescribed requirements stated in the Medicine and Related Substance Control Act 1965 (Act No. 101 of 1965).  In this respect we find the statement by DENOSA not only misleading to the Public and the practitioners but also devoid of truth and material facts.  In our quest to address issues relating to nurse prescribers, SANC has just finalized the review of the current Nursing Act and will be working with all relevant stakeholders such as the Medicines Control Council (MCC), the National Department of Health and the Pharmacy Council in an attempt to find an amicable solution for authorization of Professional Nurses and Midwives as prescribers for certain schedules of medicines in a way that will be consistent with our mandate to protect the Public whilst also ensuring that we fully support Primary Health Care (PHC) re-engineering and the role played by Professional Nurses and Midwives in delivery of health care services in South Africa.

This will ensure that Professional Nurses and Midwives who successfully completed a prescribed programme or prescribed supplementary courses are able to prescribe medicine in accordance with the prescripts of the Nursing Act and other relevant legislation.  Our approach as SANC is not aimed at addressing the challenges faced by Professional Nurses in palliative care only, but also to address challenges faced by the Nurse and Midwife Specialists working in different clinical settings and disciplines who are confronted with the same challenges on a daily basis.



Issued by

The Registrar & CEO:  Mr Tendani Mabuda
South African Nursing Council
Cecilia Makiwane Building
P O Box 1123

For more information contact:

Ms Party Day Moloi
Tel : 012 426 9542 / 083 496 8366
Fax : 012 426 9554 / 086 231 9094

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