Democratic Labour Party stands with nurses

Nurses in this country are being commended for standing up for their rights.

It has come from Leader of the Democratic Labour Party Verla De Peiza, who reflecting on the nurses’ stance in respect of the proposed 24-hour polyclinic system, maintained that those medical personnel have the Party’s full support. The planned June 1 start of the 24-hour system at the two polyclinics earmarked for the service, Winston Scott and David Thompson Health and Services Complex, was postponed after the nurses did not agree to work the shift system and raised concern that the proposed urgent care thrust of the two facilities, would take away from their community work.

De Peiza told the large gathering at The St. Michael School for a DLP public meeting, that the Party while cognisant of the “wisdom and efficacy” of 24-hour system in the polyclinics, knows the challenges of getting it started, having already tried it. “You remember when the Democratic Labour Party tried that at the Branford Taitt Polyclinic? They would like you to believe this is new stuff, we tried that, but we understood staffing issues, security concerns, needing to have the right medication and equipment in order to be a fast response – all of these were critical issues that we took on board. And it wasn’t about bullying through and pushing through the crowd, and insisting that things must be done; it was about listening, not just rubbing shoulders and getting black and bruised. It was about listening to what the nurses were saying were the concerns; and there are valid concerns,” she maintained.

De Peiza added, “It would be wonderful if we could have a 24-hour healthcare system, absolutely wonderful; we tried it. The St. John Clinic was built with that in mind, it is not a new initiative. But until we up the complement of nurses and let’s face it, to do that we have to make their working conditions appealing.”

Her comments came as she said she has received information indicating that several nurses have left the island over the last 12 months, and she insists that steps have to be taken to “stem that bleed”. The first step in that regard, she contended, is to hear from the nurses what they consider to be their requirements.

“It is not that nurses don’t want to work, to be a nurse is a significant calling, you are sacrificing family time to help your country feel better and move forward. The nurses deserve our support, not division and certainly not bullying,” she maintained. (JRT)

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