CHAPTER 36:02
NURSES AND MIDWIVES

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

   SECTION

PART I
PRELIMINARY

   1.   Short title

   2.   Interpretation

PART II
THE NURSES AND MIDWIVES COUNCIL OF MALAWI

   3.   Establishment of the Council

   4.   Composition of the Council

   5.   Vacation, etc., of members from office

   6.   Filling of vacancies on the Council

   7.   Co-opted persons

   8.   Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson

PART III
MEETINGS OF THE COUNCIL

   9.   Meetings of the Council

   10.   Disclosure of interest of member

PART IV
FUNCTIONS AND POWERS OF THE COUNCIL

   11.   Functions of the Council

   12.   Powers of the Council

   13.   Executive Committee

   14.   Committees of the Council

PART V
MANAGEMENT

   15.   Appointment of Registrar and other staff

PART VI
FINANCIAL PROVISIONS

   16.   Funds, accounts, audit

   17.   Remuneration and expenses of members of the Council

PART VII
REGISTERS

   18.   Registers

   19.   Specialist register

   20.   Duties of Registrar

   21.   Certificate and licence

   22.   Publication of registers

   23.   Registers to be evidence

PART VIII
REGISTRATION

   24.   Persons registered under the Repealed Act

   25.   Residence of registered persons

   26.   Registration and licensing prerequisites for practising

   27.   Persons entitled to be registered

   28.   Use of titles

   29.   Registered persons entitled to practise

   30.   Licensing of registered persons

   31.   Refresher courses and in-service training

   32.   Registration of additional qualifications

   33.   Registration of student nurses

   34.   Registration of pupil nursing technicians

   35.   Limited registration

   36.   Registration of persons temporarily employed

   37.   Procedure for registration

   38.   Erasure from register

   39.   Method of erasure

   40.   Consequences of erasure

   41.   Appeals against refusal to register or erasure from register

PART IX
PRIVATE PRACTICE

   42.   Licence for private practice

   43.   Issue, etc., of licences to be published in the Gazette

   44.   No fees recoverable unless nurse licensed for private practice

PART X
EDUCATION AND TRAINING

   45.   Education and Examination Committee

   46.   Reports on training qualifications and practice of persons who are registerable

   47.   Approval of institutions, curricula and qualifications

   48.   Certificate of attendance of courses

   49.   Rules for training

PART XI
INVESTIGATION PROVISIONS

   50.   Investigation Committee

   51.   Functions of Investigation Committee

   52.   Reporting of complaint

   53.   Duty to investigate complaint

   54.   Powers of the Council and Investigation Committee during investigative stage

   55.   Action after preliminary investigation

PART XII
DISCIPLINARY PROVISIONS

   56.   Disciplinary powers of the Council

   57.   Disciplinary Committee

   58.   Function of Disciplinary Committee

   59.   Taking of evidence by Disciplinary Committee

   60.   Exercise of disciplinary powers on conviction for offence

   61.   Council to refer cases to Disciplinary Committee

   62.   Exercise of disciplinary powers

   63.   Appeal to High Court

   64.   Publication of result of disciplinary proceedings

   65.   Council or Disciplinary Committee or investigation committee not to be liable

   66.   Improper or disgraceful conduct

PART XIII
PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE

   67.   Professional Practice Committee

   68.   Prescription of drugs and other medicine

PART XIV
OFFENCES AND PENALTIES

   69.   Unregistered persons practising as nurses or nursing technicians

   70.   Falsification of registers, etc.

   71.   Persons conducting education, training, etc., without authority

   72.   Employment of unregistered or unlicensed persons

   73.   Unregistered substitutes

   74.   Personation of registered person or misrepresentation

   75.   Registered person using unregistered title or qualification

   76.   Remuneration not recoverable by unregistered persons

   77.   Certain certificates invalid if signed by unregistered person

   78.   Proof required for issue of licence

PART XV
MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

   79.   African systems of nursing and midwifery allowed

   80.   Exemptions from registration

   81.   Registered persons becoming unfit to practise

   82.   Restoration to register

   83.   Burden of proof on unregistered persons

   84.   Notification of death or change of address

   85.   Regulations

   86.   Repeal and savings

16 of 1995
G.N. 23/1996

An Act to provide for the establishment of the Nurses and Midwives Council of Malawi, the registration and disciplining of nurses and nursing technicians, the licensing of private practice, the regulation of education and training of nurses and nursing technicians and generally for the control and regulation of the nursing profession and practice in Malawi and for matters incidental thereto or connected therewith

[1ST APRIL 1996]

PART I
PRELIMINARY

1.   Short title

    This Act may be cited as the Nurses and Midwives Act.

2.   Interpretation

   In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—

   “certificate” means a certificate of registration issued by the Council to a person entitled to be registered in accordance with this Act;

   “Council” means the Nurses and Midwives Council of Malawi established by section 3;

   “Executive Committee” means the committee established by section 13;

   “medical practitioner” means a person registered as such under section 17 of the Medical Practitioners and Dentists Act;

   “nurse” means a person registered as such under section 26 and includes a midwife;

   “nursing agency” means practice registered as such under section 42;

   “nursing technician” means a person registered as such under section 26 and includes a midwife;

   “pharmacist” means a person registered as such under section 4 of the Pharmacy, Medicines and Poisons Act;

   “register” means any of the registers required to be kept under sections 18 and 19;

   “Registrar” means the Registrar of the Council appointed under section 15.

PART II
THE NURSES AND MIDWIVES COUNCIL OF MALAWI

3.   Establishment of the Council

    There is hereby established a Council to be known as the Nurses and Midwives Council of Malawi, which shall be a body corporate having perpetual succession and a common seal and shall, under that name, be capable of suing and being sued and of purchasing or otherwise acquiring, holding and alienating movable or immovable property and, subject to the provisions of this Act, of performing all such acts as bodies corporate may by law perform.

4.   Composition of the Council

   (1) The Council shall consist of the following members all of whom shall, save in the case of an ex officio member, be citizens of Malawi—

   (a)   the Secretary for Health and Population who shall be a member ex officio;

   (b)   the Controller of Nursing Services in the Ministry of Health and Population who shall be a member ex officio;

   (c)   the Principal of Kamuzu College of Nursing who shall be a member ex officio;

   (d)   the Chairperson of the National Association of Nurses of Malawi who shall be a member ex officio;

   (e)   one medical practitioner nominated by the Medical Council of Malawi and appointed by the Minister;

   (f)   one member appointed by the Minister from the general public who shall be a person—

      (i)   of good character and good standing in the community;

      (ii)   knowledgeable in consumer health concerns; and

      (iii)   with no direct or indirect financial interest in health care services;

   (g)   five nurses and one nurse technician elected by the National Association of Nurses of Malawi;

   (h)   the Registrar of the Pharmacy, Medicines and Poisons Board or his duly designated alternate who shall be a member ex officio;

   (i)   the Executive Secretary of the Christian Hospitals Association of Malawi or his duly designated alternate who shall be a member ex officio;

   (j)   the Solicitor General or his duly designated alternate who shall be a member ex officio.

   (2) Subject to section 5, a member, of the Council, not being a member ex officio, shall hold office for three years but shall be eligible for re-nomination, re-appointment or re-election, as the case may be, for only one term of office;

   (3) At least three months prior to the date of expiry of the term of office of the members of the Council, the Medical Council of Malawi in subsection (1) (d), and the National Association of Nurses of Malawi in subsection (1) (f) shall inform the Registrar in writing of the names of persons nominated or elected by them in terms of the provisions referred to.

   (4) Where the Medical Council of Malawi or the National Association of Nurses of Malawi, as the case may be, is for any reason whatsoever unable to nominate or elect any number of members of the Council it is required to nominate or elect under subsection (1), the Minister may appoint to the Council an equal number of members from amongst persons eligible for nomination or election, as the case may be, under that subsection, and the members so appointed shall hold office until substituted by nominated or elected members or for such period, not exceeding three years, as the Minister may, either at the time of making the appointment or at any time thereafter, direct in writing.

   (5) Before appointing a person to be a member of the Council the Minister shall satisfy himself that that person shall have no such financial or other interest as is likely to affect prejudicially the exercise and performance by him of his functions as a member of the Council, and the Minister shall also satisfy himself from time to time with respect to every member of the Council that he has no such interest; and a person who is, or whom the Minister proposes to appoint to be a member of the Council shall, whenever requested by the Minister so to do, furnish to him such information as the Minister considers necessary for the performance by the Minister of his duties under this subsection.

   (6) If the Minister is not satisfied as to the suitability of a person nominated for appointment he may inform the appointing body, by notice in writing, that he rejects the nomination and may include in that notice a further request for a nomination.

   (7) After consultation with the Council, the Minister may vary its composition by order published in the Gazette.

   (8) Upon the appointment or election to the Council of any member, the Minister shall cause notice of such appointment or election to be published in the Gazette and shall in such notice specify the current membership of the Council resultant upon such appointment or election.

5.   Vacation, etc., of members from office

   (1) The Minister may require a member of the Council to vacate his office if the Minister is satisfied that the member—

   (a)   has become insolvent or has assigned his estate for the benefit of, or made a composition or other arrangement with, his creditors;

   (b)   has been absent from three consecutive meetings of the Council, of which he has had notice, without the leave of the Council;

   (c)   has been disqualified under this Act from carrying on his profession or calling;

   (d)   has been convicted under this Act or the repealed Act or any law relating to poisons or drugs;

   (e)   has been convicted—

      (i)   within Malawi of a criminal offence; or

      (ii)   outside Malawi of an offence by whatever name called which, if committed within Malawi, would have been a criminal offence,

and sentenced to imprisonment for a term of six months or more without the option of a fine, whether or not such sentence has been suspended, and has not received a free pardon;

   (f)   is mentally or physically incapable of efficiently performing his duties as a member of the Council;

   (g)   has had a penalty imposed upon him under this Act by the Council; or

   (h)   has financial or other interest that is likely to affect prejudicially the exercise and performance by him of his functions as a member of the Council.

   (2) The Minister may suspend from office a member of the Council against whom—

   (a)   criminal proceedings have been instituted for an offence in respect of which a sentence of imprisonment for a term of six months or more without the option of a fine may be imposed; or

   (b)   disciplinary proceedings under this Act are instituted by the Disciplinary Committee,

and while that member is so suspended he shall not carry out any duties as a member.

   (3) A member of the Council may resign his office by notice in writing—

   (a)   in the case of an elected member, to the Chairperson of the Council;

   (b)   in the case of an appointed member, to the Minister.

6.   Filling of vacancies on the council

   On vacation of office by a member of the Council, the vacancy shall be filled by a person appointed or elected in accordance with the relevant provisions of section 4 (1) under which the former member was appointed or elected:

   Provided that if the remaining period is less than six months, then—

   (a)   in the case of an appointed member, the Minister may decide not to have the vacancy filled until the expiry of the period; and

   (b)   in the case of an elected member, it shall not be necessary to hold an election and the Council may, if it sees fit, either decide not to have the vacancy filled or to co-opt a person to fill the vacancy until the expiry of the remaining period.

   (2) If any member of the Council is granted leave of absence by the Council, the Council may, if it sees fit, co-opt a person who belongs to the same profession or calling as the member who has been granted leave to fill the vacancy during the absence of that member.

7.   Co-opted persons

   The Council may in its discretion at any time and for any length of period invite any person, and the Minister may in like manner nominate any officer in the public service, to attend any meeting of the Council and take part in the deliberations of the Council, but such person or officer shall not be entitled to vote at that meeting.

8.   Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson

   (1) The Minister shall, by writing and under his hand, designate one member of the Council to be the Chairperson thereof.

   (2) The Council shall elect a Vice-Chairperson from amongst its members. The Vice-Chairperson shall, subject to subsection (3), hold office for the duration of his membership on the Council.

   (3) The office of the Vice-Chairperson shall become vacant—

   (a)   if the holder resigns his office by notice in writing to the Council;

   (b)   if the holder of the office ceases to be a member of the Council; or

   (c)   if the Council so directs.

   (4) Whenever the Chairperson is absent or is for any cause unable to discharge the functions of his office, the Vice-Chairperson shall discharge the functions of the Chairperson.

   (5) If the office of Chairperson or Vice-Chairperson becomes vacant, the members of the Council shall at the first meeting after such vacancy has occurred, elect from among themselves a new Chairperson or Vice-Chairperson, as the case may be, and the member so elected shall, subject to section 5, hold office for the unexpired portion of the period for which his predecessor was elected.

   (6) A Chairperson or Vice-Chairperson may vacate office as such without such vacation by itself terminating his membership of the Council.

PART III
MEETINGS OF THE COUNCIL

9.   Meetings of the Council

   (1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, the Council shall hold ordinary meetings for the dispatch of business at least three times in each year.

   (2) An extraordinary meeting of the Council—

   (a)   may be convened by the Chairperson at any time; and

   (b)   shall be convened by the Chairperson within twenty-one days of the receipt by him of a request in writing signed by not less than five members of the Council and specifying the purpose for which the meeting is to be convened.

   (3) At any meeting of the Council—

   (a)   the Chairperson or, in his absence the Vice-Chairperson, shall preside;

   (b)   in the absence of both the Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson the members present and forming the quorum shall elect one of their number to preside; and

   (c)   the quorum shall be formed by seven members.

   (4) At any meeting the decision of the Council on any matter shall be that of the majority of the members present and voting at that meeting, and in the event of an equality of votes, the Chairperson or the person presiding shall have a casting vote in addition to his deliberative vote.

   (5) Subject to the provisions of this Act, the Council may make standing orders for the regulation of its proceedings and business and may vary, suspend or revoke any such standing orders.

   (6) The record of any meeting of the Council shall be made available to any person registered under this Act at all reasonable times at the offices of the Council:

   Provided that the provision of this subsection shall not be construed as entitling a registered person to peruse the records of—

   (a)   a meeting of the Disciplinary Committee or any other committee of the Council; or

   (b)   the Council where the Council has resolved that it shall sit as a committee.

   (7) Subject to subsection (8) all proceedings before the Council shall be held in public.

   (8) If the Council is satisfied, either by reason of the confidential nature of the matter or otherwise, that it is appropriate to do so, the Council may direct that a matter, or part of a matter, shall be held in private.

10.   Disclosure of interest of member

   (1) A member of the Council who is in any way directly or indirectly interested in any matter being considered or about to be considered by the Council shall, as soon as possible after the relevant facts have come to his knowledge, disclose the nature of his interest at a meeting of the Council.

   (2) The disclosure shall be recorded in the minutes of the meeting.

   (3) A member shall not take part in the deliberations on or decision about the matter if the Council decides that the member’s interest might prejudicially affect—

   (a)   his consideration of the matter; or

   (b)   the Council’s consideration of the matter.

   (4) For the purpose of the making of a determination by the Council under subsection (3) in relation to a member who has made a disclosure under subsection (1), the member shall not—

   (a)   be present during any deliberation of the Council for the purpose of making the determination; or

   (b)   take part in the making by the Council of the determination:

   Provided that the absence of the member in accordance with this subsection shall not invalidate a meeting otherwise validly convened.

PART IV
FUNCTIONS AND POWERS OF THE COUNCIL

11.   Functions of the Council

   The Council shall be the sole registering authority of all persons required to be registered or licensed under this Act and shall have the following further functions—

   (a)   to assist in the promotion and improvement of the health of the population in Malawi;

   (b)   to control and to exercise authority affecting the education, training and practice of persons in, and the performance of, the practices pursued by nurses and nurse technicians.

   (c)   to exercise disciplinary control over the professional conduct of all persons registered under this Act and practising in Malawi;

   (d)   to promote liaison of the education and training, and the manner of the exercise of the practices, referred to in paragraph (b) both in Malawi and elsewhere, and to promote the standards of such education and training and the manner of the exercise of such practices in Malawi;

   (e)   to advise the Minister on any matter falling within the scope of this Act; and

   (f)   to communicate to the Minister any information acquired by the Council relating to matters of public health.

12.   Powers of the Council

   For the better performance of its functions, the Council shall, subject to the provisions of this Act, have power to—

   (a)   where authorized by this Act, remove from or restore to a register any name;

   (b)   appoint examiners and moderators, set and conduct examinations and grant certificates;

   (c)   approve nursing schools in accordance with the prescribed conditions, inspect such schools, or withdraw or suspend approval of any such school if the education or training thereat is not, in the opinion of the Council, satisfactorily carried out, or if any condition imposed has not been complied with:

      Provided that the Council shall not refuse to approve, or shall not withdraw or suspend the approval of, any such school without the consent of the Minister;

   (d)   carry out any inspection it may deem necessary to enable it to consider an application for the approval of a nursing school or any variation of a condition imposed in respect of an approved nursing school;

   (e)   acquire, hire or dispose of property, borrow money on the security of the assets of the Council, accept any donation or accept and administer any trust;

   (f)   subject to the prescribed conditions, issue or renew a licence to carry on the business of a nursing agency, inspect the records and accounts, and investigate the activities, of a nursing agency, require any person licensed to carry on the business of a nursing agency to submit to the Council such information as it may deem necessary, and, in the prescribed circumstances, suspend or cancel a licence to carry on the business of a nursing agency;

   (g)   consider any matter affecting the nursing or midwifery profession, and make representations or take such action in connexion therewith as the Council may deem advisable;

   (h)   upon application of any person, recognize a qualification held by him (whether such qualification has been obtained in Malawi or elsewhere), as being equal, either wholly or in part, to any prescribed qualification, whereupon such person shall, to the extent to which the qualification has so been recognized, be deemed to hold such prescribed qualification;

   (i)   require approved nursing schools to submit annual returns of students registered under section 33 and pupils registered under section 34 and such other information as may become necessary at any time;

   (j)   cause copies of the registers and supplementary lists, and copies thereof, showing all alterations to the registers, to be printed and published;

   (k)   make extracts from the registers;

   (l)   perform such other functions as may be prescribed or assigned to the Council by the Minister; and

   (m)   generally, do all such things as it may deem necessary or expedient to achieve the objects of this Act.

13.   Executive Committee

   (1) There shall be an Executive Committee of the Council consisting of the Chairperson and the Vice-Chairperson of the Council, the Chairperson of Committees established under this Act, and such other members of the Council as the Council may designate.

   (2) The Executive Committee may, subject to the directions of the Council, exercise all the powers, other than the powers referred to in section 61 (2) and perform all the functions of the Council, but shall not have the power, save in so far as the Council otherwise directs, to set aside or amend any decision of the Council, and any act performed or decision taken by the Executive Committee shall be of force and effect unless it is set aside or amended by the Council at its next ensuing meeting.

   (3) At any meeting of the Executive Committee—

   (a)   the Chairperson or, in his absence the Vice-Chairperson, shall preside;

   (b)   in the absence of both the Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson the members present and forming the quorum shall elect one of their number to preside; and

   (c)   the quorum shall be formed by any four members.

   (4) At any meeting the decision of the Executive Committee on any matter shall be that of the majority of the members present and voting at the meeting, and in the event of an equality of votes, the person presiding shall have a casting vote in addition to his deliberative vote.

   (5) Subject to the provisions of this Act, the Council may make standing orders for the regulation of the proceedings and business of the Executive Committee and may vary, suspend or revoke any such standing orders.

14.   Committees of the Council

   (1) In addition to the Executive Committee, the Education and Examination Committee, the Investigating Committee, the Disciplinary Committee, the Appointment and Finance Committee, the Professional Practice Committee and save as otherwise provided in relation to those six committees, the Council may establish any number of other committees to carry out any special or general functions determined by the Council and may delegate to any such committee such of the functions of the Council as the Council may consider expedient.

   (2) The Chairperson of the Council shall by reason of his office be a member of every committee established under subsection (1).

   (3) The Chairperson of each committee shall be appointed by the Council from amongst the members of the Council.

   (4) Each committee may co-opt as members of such committee persons who are not members of the Council and any of such members so co-opted may or may not be officers in the public service.

   (5) The Chairperson of a committee may, at any time and place, convene a meeting of the committee of which he is Chairperson.

   (6) The Council may, at any time, direct the Chairperson of any committee to convene a meeting of such committee and such Chairperson shall, as soon as is practicable, comply with such direction.

   (7) Every committee shall keep minutes of its meetings and shall inform the Council of its activities and shall conduct its proceedings in such manner as the Council may direct.

   (8) Any member of a committee shall, in respect of expenses incurred by him in travelling and subsistence while discharging his duties as member of that committee, be paid out of the funds of the Council such allowance as the Council may determine.

PART V
MANAGEMENT

15.   Appointment of Registrar and other staff

   (1) Subject to the provisions of this section, the Council—

   (a)   shall appoint a Registrar upon terms and conditions approved by the Minister; and

   (b)   may appoint assistant registrars and such other employees as it considers necessary or desirable in the discharge of its duties and upon such terms and conditions as it may determine.

   (2) Before appointing a person to be a Registrar, the Council shall satisfy itself that the person has at least a degree in nursing and five years experience in nursing practice, education or administration.

   (3) The Registrar, after consultation with the Chairperson of the Council, may appoint temporary employees at such daily rates of pay, not below the minimum rates otherwise prescribed by law, as he may consider appropriate and shall, after he has appointed any such employee, report the fact thereof to the Council at its next meeting.

   (4) The Registrar shall be the Secretary to the Council and to every committee thereof and shall, on the instructions of the Chairperson of the Council or the Chairperson of any committee, convene a meeting of the Council or the committee, as the case may be.

   (5) If the Registrar is absent or unable to carry out any of his functions under this Act or any other enactment, an assistant registrar or any other officer of the Council shall exercise, during the period that the Registrar is so absent or unable to act, such of the functions of the Registrar as the Chairperson of the Council may designate.

PART VI
FINANCIAL PROVISIONS

16.   Funds, accounts, audit

   (1) The funds of the Council shall consist of—

   (a)   such sums as may be appropriated by Parliament for the purposes of the Council;

   (b)   all fees payable under this Act;

   (c)   such other moneys and assets as may vest in or accrue to the Council, whether in the course of its functions or otherwise, including any penalty or costs payable to the Council under this Act; and

   (2) The Council shall keep proper accounts and other records relating thereto in respect of its funds and shall in every respect comply with the provisions of the Finance and Audit Act.

   (3) The accounts of the Council shall be examined and audited annually by auditors appointed by the Council and approved by the Minister.

17.   Remuneration and expenses of members of the Council

   Members of the Council shall be paid from the funds of the Council such allowance as the Minister may determine and in determining the allowance the Minister may make provision for the reimbursement of any reasonable expenses incurred by a member of the Council or of a committee of the Council in connexion with the business of the Council or the committee.

PART VII
REGISTERS

18.   Registers

   (1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, the Council shall continue to keep and maintain the registers which were established before the commencement of this Act and may establish or continue to keep and maintain—

   (a)   a register of nurse midwives;

   (b)   a register of nursing midwife technicians;

   (c)   a register of persons temporarily employed in Malawi, being persons referred to in section 36.

   (2) The Council may establish a register of students who are undergoing training in Malawi or a qualification required for admission as a nurse or nurse technician.

   (3) There shall be entered in a register under this section in relation to a registered person, address, qualification and date of first registration, date of first licence, date of renewal of licence and such other particulars as the Council may from time to time determine.

   (4) The Council may alter the title of any register and every person registered in a register bearing the former title shall for all purposes be considered as registered in the register bearing the new title.

   (5) Where the Council intends to establish a register or to alter the name of a register, the Council shall cause to be published in the Gazette and in one issue of a newspaper in general circulation in Malawi notice of such intention and the date with effect from which it is intended that the register shall be established or the name of the register shall be altered.

19.   Specialist Register

   (1) The Council may establish and keep a register of nurses or nursing technicians who have acquired special knowledge and experience in a particular branch of nursing.

   (2) If the Council establishes a register under subsection (1), it may, by rule or otherwise, determine—

   (a)   the requirements to be satisfied, including the experience to be acquired, the nature and duration of the training to be undertaken and the degree, diploma or certificate to be held by a nurse or nursing technician before he can be registered on that register;

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