Nurses head says plight being trivialised

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The head of the Nurses Association, Karen Josiah, said that the plight of protesting Dialysis Unit nurses is being trivialised by those who have the power to change things.

Since June 26, nurses have been on a go-slow while they seek a resolution to their grievances that include inadequate staffing to deal with the number of patients who need to receive the three-times-weekly treatment.

There are over 90 patients receiving dialysis, and a total of 16 nurses are treating 44 patients each day.

 Yesterday, Josiah said that the situation remained the same, with no new nurses added to ease the strain.

“Things are still the same, [the nurses] would have said something if the situation had changed and I’ve made contact and nothing, nothing about any special nurses coming. As far as I know, the nurses are still working at the minimum,” Josiah told OBSERVER media.

  Nurses from the unit have been complaining to the authorities for some time now, but to no avail.

Each patient requires a minimum dialysis of three days per week, however, due to lack of sufficient staff, that figure has been reduced to twice per week.

When asked who would be responsible for the negative impact that this reduced treatment could have on the patients, Josiah said the nurses can only do what is humanly possible.

“That’s what they are doing presently,” she said. “We have a director of nursing and a minister of health, and I am really hoping that they will take the responsibility first and foremost because they are the ones that are ultimately responsible for the health of the nation.”

More than a week ago, the Minister of Health, Wellness and the Environment, Molwyn Joseph, said he had given instructions that the matter be urgently addressed and there should be a resolution in the coming days.

But Josiah said she believes, “They are still trivialising the issue for something that should be treated urgently. Even if the nurses came this week they would still have to be processed and registered with the Nurses Council, they can’t just go to work like that…it is not going to happen overnight and they knew this was going to happen.”