Nurses and Midwives Act
- Commenced on 1 April 1996
- [This is the version of this document at 31 December 2014.]
- [Note: This version of the Act was revised and consolidated in the Fifth Revised Edition of the Laws of Malawi (L.R.O. 1/2018), by the Solicitor General and Secretary for Justice under the authority of the Revision of the Laws Act.]
Part I – Preliminary
1. Short titleThis Act may be cited as the Nurses and Midwives Act.
2. InterpretationIn 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;[Cap. 36: 01]“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;[Cap. 35: 01]“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 CouncilThere 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
5. Vacation, etc., of members from office
6. Filling of vacancies on the Council
7. Co-opted personsThe 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
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 CouncilThe 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—
12. Powers of the CouncilFor the better performance of its functions, the Council shall, subject to the provisions of this Act, have power to—
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 CouncilMembers 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
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 ActEvery person who, immediately before the commencement of this Act, was registered in any register under the repealed Act and is resident in Malawi, shall be deemed to have been registered under this Act in the appropriate register.
25. Residence of registered persons
26. Registration and licensing prerequisites for practisingNo person shall be entitled to practise within Malawi the profession of a nurse or nursing technician, or to practise within Malawi as a student nurse or as a pupil nursing technician, unless he is in terms of this Act registered and licensed as a nurse, a nursing technician, a student nurse or a pupil nursing technician, as the case may be.
27. Persons entitled to be registeredExcept as otherwise provided by or under this Act, every person shall be entitled to be registered in the appropriate register if he—
28. Use of titlesAny person registered under this Act may take and use the title appropriate to the register on which his name appears.
29. Registered persons entitled to practiceEvery person registered under this Act shall be entitled to practice nursing of the category in respect of which he is registered.
30. Licensing of registered persons
31. Refresher courses and in service educationExcept as otherwise provided by this Act, every person registered under this Act shall—
32. Registration of additional qualification
33. Registration of student nurses
34. Registration of pupil nursing technicians
35. Limited registration
36. Registration of persons temporarily employedAny person qualified to practise the profession or calling of a nurse or nurse technician, who intends to practice that profession or calling in Malawi but does not intend to reside for a period exceeding twelve months in Malawi may, if he satisfies the Registrar that he is so qualified, be registered on a register of persons temporarily employed:Provided that in circumstances considered by the Registrar to be exceptional, the Registrar may extend the period of registration for twelve months.
37. Procedure for registration
38. Erasures from register
39. Method of erasureIn order to effect the erasure of the name and particulars of a person from a register, a line of red ink shall be drawn through such name and particulars but so as to leave them remain legible.
40. Consequence of erasureAny certificate of registration or licence issued to a person whose name has been erased shall be deemed to have been cancelled on the date of erasure and the person concerned shall be deemed not to be registered or licensed with effect from that date.
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 GazetteThe issue, cancellation and withdrawal of any licence under section 42 shall be notified in the Gazette.
44. No fees recoverable unless nurse licensed for private practiceNo person in private practice shall be entitled to recover any charges for any nursing or midwifery advice or other service which he has rendered in the performance of an act as a nurse unless he is at the time appropriately licensed under section 41 for private practice.
Part X – Education and examination
45. Education and Examination Committee
46. Reports on training qualifications and practice of persons who are registrableThe Council may, and if so required by the Minister, consider and report to the Minister and advise him upon any matter relating to professional or technical training or other qualifications required for admission to a profession or calling in respect of which a register is kept and the conditions of practice after registration.
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 complaintWhere a complaint is lodged with the Investigation Committee, the Investigation Committee shall cause a preliminary investigation into the complaint unless the Investigation Committee is of the opinion that the 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 CouncilThe Council shall have the power to warn, suspend, revoke, or refuse to renew any registration or licence, or to place on probation or discipline in any manner specified under this Part a person registered under this Act, or to deny an application for registration or licence upon proof that such person has—
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 medicinesSubject to the provisions of the Pharmacy, Medicines and Poisons Act, a person registered under this Act shall be entitled to prescribe drugs and other medicines.[Cap. 35: 01]
Part XIV – Offences and penalties
69. Unregistered persons practising as nurses or nursing technicians
70. Falsification of registers, etc.A person who—
71. Persons conducting education, training, etc., without authority
72. Employment of unregistered or unlicensed personsAny employer who engages a nurse or nursing technician who is not registered or licensed under this Act shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine of K2,000 and to imprisonment for one year.
73. Unregistered substitutesAny person who is registered under this Act who employs as his substitute a person who is not appropriately registered shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine of K2,000 and to imprisonment for one year.
74. Personation of registered person or mispresentationAny person who impersonates a registered person shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine of K1,000 and to imprisonment for two years.
75. Registered person using unregistered title or qualificationA registered person who takes, uses or publishes in any way whatsoever a name, title, description or symbol indicating or calculated to lead any person to infer that he possesses a qualification which relates to a profession or calling in respect of which a register is kept and which is not shown in the register in connexion with his name shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine of K1,000 and to imprisonment for one year.
76. Remuneration not recoverable by unregistered personsNo remuneration shall be recoverable in respect of any act pertaining to a profession or calling in respect of which a register is kept under this Act when performed by a person who is not registered on the appropriate register.
77. Certain certificates invalid if signed by unregistered personNo certificate required by law from any member of a profession or calling in respect of which a register is kept under this Act shall be valid unless the person signing such certificate is registered on the appropriate register.
78. Proof required for issue of licenceNo licence required under any law to be obtained by a registered person shall be issued to such person unless the person applying for such licence produces proof that he is registered on the appropriate register.
Part XV – Miscellaneous provisions
79. African systems of nursing and midwifery allowedNothing contained in this Act shall be construed to prohibit or prevent the practice of any African system of nursing or midwifery by any person in Malawi:Provided that nothing in this section shall be construed to authorize the performance by a person practising any African system of nursing or midwifery of any act which is dangerous to life.
80. Exemptions from registration
81. Registered persons becoming unfit to practise
82. Restoration to registerWhere the name of a person has been erased from the register, the Council may, if it thinks fit, authorize the restoration to the register of the name of such person if representations are made by the person concerned after the expiration of such period as the Council may determine in that particular case.
83. Burden of proof on unregistered personsIn any criminal proceedings against any person upon a charge of having performed any act which constitutes an offence under this Act, if performed by a person alleged to be not registered, the person charged shall be deemed to be not registered unless he proved the contrary.
84. Notification of death or change of address
85. RegulationsThe Minister may, with the advice of the Council, make regulations for carrying out or giving effect to the provisions of this Act, and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing such regulations may—
86. Repeal and savings
History of this document
31 December 2014 this version
01 April 1996