President of the Dominica Nurses Association (DNA), Rosie Felix has reiterated her long-standing position that the many issues that affect Dominica’s nurses are are being ignored, to a large extent, by the government.
Felix said at a press conference on Monday at start of International Nurses Week, “It is a fact that nurses in Dominica are challenged in more ways than one in giving the highest attainable standard of care due to many issues affecting these nurses and the health care environment in which they work.”
She added that both the DNA and the Dominica Pubic Service Union have been ignored “to a great extent” with regard to the issues plaguing the nurses service.
“Since April 2018, when we communicated with both the union and the ministry of health, the ministry of health has not taken any drastic measure to cause nurses planning to migrate to change their minds,” Felix stated.
“On the occasion of nurse’s week, we make a conscious call to the government to rethink its priorities and invest in nurses and their work places,” the DNA president stated. “Create positive practice environments that nurses and by extension, all health care workers, will love and if they must leave, it won’t be for lack of a positive practice environment.”
She said that the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) has called on countries to address the migration of nursing personnel among other issues and considers it necessary to invest in human resources retention strategies in low income countries and small island developing states.
Meantime, First Vice President of the Dominica Nurses Association (DNA), Debra Phillip has reiterated that nurses merit the country’s support because of their hard work in providing proper health care to Dominican citizens.
“Nurses, by our practice and population, lead in critical care areas of health care delivery. No wonder when there is a shortage of nurses, the very fabric of health systems is threatened. No one but nurses can walk in nurses’ shoes,” she declared.
“We alone are educated the way we are for this noble work, As such, there can be no substitute or acting nurse only real professional nurses. Nursing is an art and a science that involves best practice based on evidence, guided by ethical principals and protocols and grounded in professionalism,” Phillip explained. “It is dynamic and involves advocacy for the people we care for, advocacy for the right and adequate resources to care for them and advocacy for the right and safe environment in which to care for them. Nurses go through a period of intense education and deserve your cooperation, support and respect.”
She said anything which affects the health care client affects the nurses and anything that affects the nurse affects the health care client.
Under the theme “Nurses a voice to lead – Health for All”, the DNA has organized series of events for international nurses week which began on May 12th 2019 and will end on May 18th 2019.