n South African Gastroenterology Review - Nurse Endoscopists in South Africa 2020-2025 - review

Volume 17 Number 3
  • ISSN : 1812-1659


Endoscopy services in South Africa are in trouble. The two main problems are inadequate number of endoscopists and lack of endoscopy units. Endoscopy is a broad field and requires endoscopic professionals. As demands increase with a new wave of flexible endoscopy screening CRC programs, there is great need for expansion in the workforce to provide this diagnostic service . Equally, endoscopy still has to deal with more complex cases and therapeutic cases that will inevitably arise as a result of the increased diagnostic service. This requires extra (surgical) gastroenterologists who are prepared to take risks and accept the subsequent complications that will ensue. For endoscopy among nurses who are well trained there is interest to be trained for nurse endoscopist to deal with the shortage of enough endoscopists. Studies established that nurse endoscopists can safely perform colonoscopies and upper endoscopies. These are interesting, albeit challenging options for South Africa. In an era where safe, yet cost effective, policies run at the forefront of stakeholders’ minds, we discuss and suggest how nursing staff can undertake additional roles in the endoscopic suites and how to address this in the near future.

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