Health Minister accuses Nurse’s Association of playing politics

Health Minister Dr. Kenneth Darroux. File photo

Health Minister, Dr. Kenneth Darroux is questioning the motives of the Dominica Nurses Association (DNA), stating that the leaders in some cases need to decide whether they are professionals or politicians.

He also accused members of the association of being of idle hands and minds.

“It begs the question as to the leadership, in some cases of the nurses association and other such groups and they have to decide Madam Speaker at some point whether they are professionals like they say they are or whether they are politicians,” he said in parliament earlier this week. “I say this and I say this with no apology…it behooves me, Madam Speaker, why would the nurses associations and their social media webpage be advertising, directing nurses to websites or events where we have people trying to refer nurses overseas and at the same time you saying you want to be part of the solution.”

He further questioned how the nurses association can be a part of the solution when they are basically encouraging people to create an avenue for nurses to leave.

“I think they are very idle… idle minds and idle hands who were in positions to make a difference with the system,” Dr. Darroux remarked.

According to him, these idle hands are now encouraging nurses to leave Dominica, “and you saying that you love nurses and your profession.”

“They have to make up their minds, whether they are a nurse, professional or a politician, he stressed. “And if you are a politician, get into the ring and do what politicians do.”

The DNA and the government has been at loggerheads recently over a number of issues including the migration of nurses and pay raise.

General Secretary of the Dominica Public Service Union (DPSU), Thomas Letang, has come out against the statements, saying he was not in support of the Minister. The DPSU represents the majority of nurses on the island.

During a live interview on Q-95 Radio on Thursday morning, Letang said further discussions should be held to address the issues affecting nurses on the island.

“On one hand you cannot be preaching something and on the other hand you are saying something else,” he said. “I mean if you are saying that the association is a professional association, I am totally in agreement that when it comes to matters pertaining to nurses that the association and the union should work hand-in-hand, and that it what we have been doing over the years.”

Letang continued, “But you cannot when it suits you meet with them separately and when it comes to negotiations you say we are the representative body.”

He said also what needs to be done is some discussion with the union to seriously look at the issues affecting nurses and how they can be addressed, “and of course the nurses association should be part of that discussion.”

Letang further stated that if people are affected by a particular matter it is very natural and obvious that they will speak about it.

“What needs to be done is if you feel that these issues need to be discussed with the union let us do it, and the attack on the nurses association – that could be avoided, and we could have some meaningful discussion with the union and the nurses association to see how the issues can be addressed,” he stated.

He believes that these issues are not being seriously addressed and, “we have suggestions, we have recommendations, we have had discussions with the nurses associations, we have had discussions with the nursing bodies themselves and we would want those matters to be addressed.”

Letang pointed out that nurses do have some serious issues and persons must understand that nurses are very important in the scheme of things, “and you cannot just ignore them.”

“You have to sit with the union representing them, they have to be present at those meetings and let us see how we can address those issues,” he remarked.

Letang said the situation has reached the point where something serious needs to be done urgently.

“Telling the nurses that you are going to give them a one-time allowance for the uniforms that they lost during the hurricane, this is not going to solve the problem,” Letang argued. “The nursing problems are far more serious than those issues and I am seeing that these issues need to be addressed.”

He said the DPSU as the legal representative for nurses, is willing to sit with the Minister and Senior Administrative Officers of the Ministry of Health to discuss the issues affecting nurses.

“As a matter of fact a meeting was scheduled over a month ago, that meeting was not held because at the time I was out of state and the notice for that meeting was very short, that is after I had raised some concerns that the very same minister and his P.S [Permanent Secretary] had met with the nurses and discussed certain benefits/ terms and conditions which normally should have been done through the union as the legal representative body,” Letang explained.

The Dominica Nurse’s Association has said a statement on the matter will be released soon.

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  1. music producer
    August 4, 2018

    come on Nurses, I have room for allu overseas :mrgreen: Live them jacked up fellas in their misery, you hear?

  2. Concerned
    August 4, 2018

    I think…although he could have phrased it better is….the nursing association cannot be complaining about the nurses being overworked whilst @ the same time facilitating the very brain drain that they complaining of !!!

    You cannot be biting the hand that feeds you and still complain.

    But I understand his frustration. Its hard being a politician and keeping your cool after a disaster.

    It must be frustrating having everybody asking for pay hikes after a major disaster, and now with Ross gone; gov’t has even less revenue.

    If the gov’t could not give pay rises b4 Maria, how are they supposed to do it now?

    How is a struggling disaster ridden country supposed to provide more incentives than a blossoming economy like …the USA for example ?

  3. Jah
    August 3, 2018

    Darroux is the typical bully.Hiding his insecurities and incompetencies behind bullying.He is learning from his master the bully called Pitiful Pimp.

  4. Joseph John
    August 3, 2018

    Doc, its not politics its money. Recruiting agencies are paying to get nurses and other health personnel. According to sources it is more expensive to hire Americans. And they really do not like to do nursing. But the health industry is the largest and fastest growing sector, hence the recruiting for money business.

  5. Frank Talker
    August 3, 2018

    You are so right about “Playing Politics”, because only in Dominica is governance of the State a Big Game. You and your partners are playing politics, so why cant nurses do so? Politics is a Game to be played by some of the dunsest guys in this country.

  6. Roseau Girl
    August 3, 2018

    Continue blaming people for everything and don’t find solutions to the real problem. It is just appalling how this Government sees no need to look into any matter and seek a solution to make things better. They have even blamed the UWP for a bad economy after DLP has sat in the leadership position for 18 years. Now tell me if this is not as dumb as a lost chicken.

  7. Ibo France
    August 3, 2018

    Instead of trying to commiserate with the nurses for their legitimate grievances, humiliate and crush them if they dare to speak. Isn’t this dictatorial? How can anyone expect the best of anyone who works under dire conditions daily. Are they robots. Even robots break down when they are overworked. Mr. Minister, dismount from your high horse. Show some respect and empathy for the beleaguered nurses. Try to bring some practical solutions to the myriad of problems in the healthcare system. It’s much easier to apportion blame and phony accusations to the nurses than to bring workable solutions to the table. Like your colleagues, you are just pathetic.

  8. langsort
    August 3, 2018

    boy take that ridiculous thing of your ear and show your representation to the Dominican people with professionalism.

  9. anonymous
    August 3, 2018

    This person was taking rides in an Iranian money launderers Rolls Royce in Malaysia while nurses toiled away in Dominica. Is it any wonder the situation has gotten this bad? Even if his friends weren’t in jail he still wouldn’t be getting a penny from them for the nurses.

  10. playboy
    August 3, 2018

    The Minister is absolutely right!!!!!!!! The leadership of the Nurses association is actually busier trying to bring the government down with their politics than trying to be any part of any solution with respect to nurses.
    The Minister just has to be kind and professional and not call names, but they know who they are!

  11. anonymous2
    August 3, 2018

    Considering the fact that to get anywhere as an organization you have to be both professional and political and active. Dr. Darroux, you are both a politician and a doctor, however, in that you are on the payroll, you don’t have to worry about work hours and money coming in on a regular basis. The nurses do and they are not working under optimal conditions. It must be rather frustrating as well as depressing at times. Those in ivory towers need to come down and work in the trenches and then they will start changing their tune.

  12. Tweety
    August 2, 2018

    But mister minister you are looking out for yourself why shouldn’t the nurses do the same. Do you realize that every nurse that do their British nursing exam has passed. Thats because they are bright. I will be leaving in the next batch. We don’t have time to play games.we are moving out. Bye……

    • Watching you good....
      August 4, 2018

      This is why, that because of you people I would start to outsource nurses from cuba and other countries to Dominica. Cause guess what? You all pass the british exams because of the knowledge imparted here in Dominica, so I would ensure that nurses sign a document to serve the country for at least 5 years before making a move or just dont provide that training in Dominica, so u can boast after of intelligence…… I would make u all go overseas and get your training. Why u think that nurses here pass the british exams? Because i Dominica we take pride in training and educating you all. In britain persons dont look for careers in nursing so the demand is high.

      I however believe that nurses pay should increase as well as certain conditions, however some of you, take the training with the intension of going. When u all are overseas working u all treat patients like gods, however a lot of you all treat your own people back home like dogs

      Good luck and God blessings.

      • Rn
        August 5, 2018

        After we take loan to pay state college, pay hundreds of dollars to do the Rn exam. What grounds do they have to ask us to sign? Be careful with your dictatorship attitude. It’s who in the kitchen that feels the heat.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  13. Me that’s who
    August 2, 2018

    Nurses in Dominica make less than bank tellers on the island. What’s the difference between a bank teller & a supermarket cashier? Figure it out.

  14. ?????????
    August 2, 2018

    Non objective persons! It is not one year since Maria and all and sundry trying to bring the Government to their knees. Did you all forget September 19th morning? Be reasonable … yes I know increases are wanted by all and yes Nurses you are important but isn’t all persons important?

    You all like too much confusion … once is the Government all you commenting. Where are you when important and other news item???? Mischievous, inconsiderate and selfish I see you all as.

    We there once is anything to do with the red. but mouth shut when there are other important news item. Time to get a life and comment intelligently and constructively. Do you read your comments? They all show some person who is hateful and cannot come to grips with life and unthankful.

    Don’t care about thumbs down though. Truth.. time to stop the negativity and speak some positive. You not agree or support but you can give an alternative solution. Then one will respect your views. Not…

  15. August 2, 2018

    Sorry my brother you just shot in the wrong GOAL; you have the real Doctorate so how you allow the FAKE Punjab PhD to have you talk this garbage just like him; guess it’s a case of “birds of a feather flocking together” you were once a humble son of the south east go back there garcon.

  16. Who Darroux think he is?
    August 2, 2018

    That guy occupying that Minister position, in an INCOMPETENT, strangers-to-the-Truth DLP Gov’t, has disgraced himself, in public at that, on several occasions.

    Remember that BITCOIN Fiasco? A big ceremony to be held at the stadium by BITCOIN officials, to make DA a BITCOIN country? Remember who was point man involved?

    Remember the GUN being brought to and exposed during a sitting of Parliament? Who was the culprit with the gun? Was it the Minister of Health Darroux himself? No Law, No Constitution could prevent him from………….

    Presently, That same Minster of Health, feels he wields so much ‘Power’ to curse up, to put the Nurses and their Association under manners.

    But such approaches are the Modus Operandi of the Skerritt DLP Gov’t Cabal. They now are filfthy rich, and the majority are impoverished by the incompetence of DLP, so they could dehumanize and victimize anyone standing for their RIGHTS. STAND UP RESILIENT, FEARLESS…

  17. Rn
    August 2, 2018

    Options are being presented to the nurses, and you have the audacity to be angry. So we should have no other option than to leave our families, work hard, get little pay and keep smiling. You are a bigger idiot than I thougnt. DNA is presenting an alternative option. Those who do not want to stay and eat the crumbs of the master’s table can go to DNA’s facebook page and explore other options. Thank you idiot for tellingn us all where we can get the information. Thank you madame P. for puttimg the information out there.

    • ?????????
      August 2, 2018

      Really Rn DNA facebook pages to explore other options? Really so where are the Florence Nightingale. Really I understand you need more money etc. But look at the salary scale of other important persons too. What do you call little pay? comparative with other civil servants etc. Get this on and I will understand. Consider everyone as important as you even the cleaners who have to clean the wards etc. You are all important. The particular Madame yes is playing politics. She is even seen openly in pictures with a certain political selfish group who does not have the country affected by Hurricane Maria at heart. Only sowing discord and confusion. Did not Maria teach any of you a lesson? It is about me, I, Myself alone.. I doe care who get as long as I get. Where is the look for other less fortunate than me attitude? Yes I do agree most persons need an increase but there are other things to take into consideration. We are in the rebuilding mode. It is not even one (1) year

      • Rn
        August 3, 2018

        So your problem is not what madame P says, but the2 company she keeps. Well she is free to keep wboever she wants for company. Madame P did not have to put the information on fb for nurses to find other options. I for one hardly use fb and yet I have gotten ths information. Yes I have appled to a few and is weighjng my options. The minister is vex because he cannot fire madame P. I am happy because madame P has backbone and can stand up for the nurses. Just to inform you. The problem of underpaying, while overworking the nurses did not start with Maria. The Florence Nightingales are still here, however since the cost of oil for our lamps along with every thing else has gone up, we need our salaries to go up as well. The other important people that you mentioned,1 also have a right to seek an increase if they feel that it is deserved. Do not use their silence to try to shut us up!

        Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
      • Awa
        August 4, 2018

        Don’t you think it’s sad that nurses who pay the highest tuition at state college after sustaining their degree can’t even pay back their student loans? Yes maria passes and destroyed many homes including that of nurses. Isn’t it sad that a nurse who works even on her days off due to the shortage of staff can’t even fix her roof? She too sleeps under galvanize! I mean come on!!!! Ps no insurance! Have u seen the working conditions up there???? Equipment always broken down. Who feels it knows it!!! Mr minister u know wat we talking about!

        Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
  18. August 2, 2018

    That¨s the mess you guys created, Allu kill Dominica

  19. Dora
    August 2, 2018

    The minister of health needs to go do his job & don’t blame the nursing association for the insufficient running in the ministry of health. The lack of equipment to work with, lack of proper salary, abuse of nurses by authority, inability to freely speak without fear of retribution, lack of concern for health& safety of nurses are just some of the reasons nursing are running by batches from Dominica. Imagine with a degree in nursing a nurse would prefer to go plant provision to sell instead of working in the health system. The nurses are not paying the nursing association to represent the government but nurses interests & that includes helping to find better positions even outside the country. DO YOUR WORK & DON’T CAST USELESS BLAME IN WRONG HOLES MR. MINISTER

  20. Omg
    August 2, 2018

    I thought we were doing better than the other Islands as proclaimed by the Red. They aren’t interested to pay salary increases. 000%
    So what u expect.

  21. LaPlaine Observer
    August 2, 2018

    Instead of applauding the nurses for their dedication and selfless efforts in the aftermath of hurricane Maria, you are criticizing them to score political points. These nurses worked under extremely unpleasant conditions with very little medical supplies while caring for their fellow citizens. The most commendable thing you can do is thank them.

  22. Uncle
    August 2, 2018

    But Kenneth why are you accusing these nurses of the same thing you are doing? A medical man, a doctor, playing politics. Are you saying that this is bad and that a nurse could not be an M.P And that they should not look after their own interest? Sílly man.

  23. carmen
    August 2, 2018

    Take off the ear rings please! Ridiculous!

  24. RandyX
    August 2, 2018

    Nobody more idle than a minister of the Skerrit regime! Being paid for doing absolutely nothing!

  25. %
    August 2, 2018

    These guys are more obstacles to progress,that they are facilitators.What the nurses need to do is to vote against ALL the DLP MISLEADERS in their various constituencies come next election.As the minister of health,this guy is out of place,rude and condescending.
    Where The Wicked Rule The People Mourn
    This DLP is a Wicked and Evil Party!!!

  26. Op
    August 2, 2018

    So nurses and the association by extension have to sit by and endure this government’s inability to provide for their professional advancements without allowing it’s members the opportunity to better themselves if it arises?

    This isn’t Cuba Kenneth…you won’t see nurses reduced to being illegal taxi car drivers (or worst, government beggars) to subsidise their income in other to live comfortable.

    Anyone who doesn’t tow the.governments line and dares to speak out is labelled as being political, more so they are labelled “the opposition. The inability of these grown men to take constructive criticism is not only worrying, it’s a down right shame. Only cowards behave like that Kenneth. You and your.fellow government.elites continue to label citizens and set your goons on them.

    Cowards. Stop trying to deflect the problems and FIX them!!

  27. jamie
    August 2, 2018

    Darroux be a man and stop attacking nurses,you guys are a waste,try feeling the suffering of these nurses,you guys have all the millions while squandering and enjoying the lavish lifestyle,this is not how government works,but the tides will turn in due time,Nurses pray for this incompetent government,God will deliver to all of you and very soon.Darroux BLAME THE MAN YOU GUYS PROCLAIM TO BE GOD.

  28. AA
    August 2, 2018

    Boy you too dunce. How the hell you expect anyone to turn a blind eye to opportunities for themselves and stay in a country that you all have made a real ……. The nurses wants better for themselves and the country is not able to provide it you do not expect them to look elsewhere? Fix them damn country and provide opportunities for the people to stay. Everyone with as little as a first degree or who have a child and wants better for themselves and their children ready to leave this place because of all you idiotic ministers policies. so take a chill pill and STFU

    • August 3, 2018

      Nurses and other professionals have been leaving Dominica for economic reasons long before Skeritt or Darroux were born. The difference is that it was not considered a political issue then, now Skeritt is been blamed for everything and is expected to fix things that were crooked since before slavery.

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