Nurses under attack on the job; DNA concerned

A nurse was reportedly abused at the Princess Margaret Hospital last weekend. File photo

The Dominica Nurses Association (DNA) is expressing concern over what it said is the increasing incidences of the abuse of nurses on the job at hospitals and health centers on the island.

President of the DNA, Rosie Felix, said in a statement that nurses are constantly working in fear and there is a lack of political will to provide 24/7 security them.

To prove her point she pointed to an incident which she said took place at the Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) last weekend.

“Last Saturday 23, June about 6:30 am, a male patient on the Imray Ward verbally abused a nurse and then threatened to kill her with the telephone line he had ripped off,” she stated. “The same patient went on to the Casualty Department banging on the doors and threatening to kill the nurses. There was no police presence and the security officers could not restrain the attacker who escaped but was subsequently apprehended by police from the Roseau Police Station.”

Felix said that in 2007, the DNA both wrote and demonstrated about security and police officers were assigned to the PMH but the arrangement was unreliable.

“This arrangement has been intermittent, seasonal and very unreliable,” she stated. “Hence nurses and other health workers particular those at the Casualty Department are constantly working in fear.”

She posed several questions to the Minister of National Security, Rayburn Blackmoore, concerning the security of nurses on the job.

“Aren’t nurses valuable enough to deserve constant and effective security on the job?” she asked. “Isn’t it obvious that if nurses are not safe, patients are not safe either? Are we waiting for a health worker to be murdered on the job and then declare the person a hero? Are you willing to raise the bar or are you just watching as more frustrated and demoralized nurses leave because health care does not care? Or must we protest one more time because work is not safe?”

This is the second time issues surrounding nurses have surfaced in the public.

Recent statistics show that a number of nurses left Dominica following the passage of Hurricane Maria last September, sparking concerns that this might have an effect on health delivery on the island. Health Minister, Dr. Kenneth Darroux, said on a radio program that the nursing service was “fast nearing critical levels.”

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  1. June 27, 2018

    Who say the Government cares a rats-a?? about the nurses security? when these guys fall sick they are immediately Air-lifted out of this country; safety and health guaranteed. When the patriots of this country demonstrated their opposition to the passage of a Bill where the Government sought to make treating legal; all measures were taken almost immediately to boost security at the House.

  2. Food
    June 26, 2018

    What! Put their a** to sleep when they verbally abusing all

  3. Nahla
    June 26, 2018

    You all are some really depraved people. There are some lovely nurses at PMH. They aren’t all miserable, and besides they shouldn’t be threatened at their workplace. We like to act like we are saints when we are at the hospital, but remember nurses are people too. They feel too. And our attitudes and demeanor don’t help.
    Give them a break and let them do their jobs.

  4. Yow
    June 26, 2018

    If they had the right attitudes towards their patients you think they would be abused?

  5. D/can
    June 26, 2018

    This is a very touchy area. I am on the fence re this. The nurses at PMH have a dirty stinking attitude. They need to remember that they are working in a pressure cooker. You come there with a loved one who is in pain or ill and to have to deal with their attitudes sometimes sends a lot of folks over the edge.
    On the other hand, their attitudes may be from their lack of pay, having to work long hours and poor woeking conditions. This is why many of our nurses are migrating. Anyway the country nice, so proceed.

  6. anonymous2
    June 26, 2018

    That hospital sounds like it is out of control and that its manager is not in control. Something needs to be done differently.

    • Neville
      June 27, 2018

      Everything is out of control in Dominica.

  7. Tobby
    June 26, 2018

    There is no need for police presence at a hospital, unless there may be some sort of gunshot victim or some form of gang member warded there for the time being, all the government need to do, is to implement a CCTV system and higher private security for the same. At list 4 security officers per shift and a three shift system. Not police.

    • June 28, 2018

      Your sense of security is so ancient !

  8. Ibo France
    June 26, 2018

    Safety of all citizens should be the very top priority of any government. The main hospital needs tight security around the clock for both workers and patients. The major short comings and priorities of this government are pushed aside for trivialities that can bring this maladministration victory at the upcoming general election. All healthcare workers should protest peacefully by having a sit-in at their work places until security is upgraded, the requisite resources are in place and their salaries are beefed up. By the way, I strongly deter the name of the hospital, Princess Margaret Hospital. Why not rename this institution in honor of a local doctor or nurse who has given yeoman service to the medical profession. We must begin to honor and uplift our own.

    • Jaimous Thomas
      June 26, 2018

      I might be wrong but I thought the article said there were security personnel present. Just out of curiosity, would the presence of the police at the hospital prevented the guy from abusing the nurse?.
      Having cctv on the wards raises the concern of privacy and so must be viewed cautiously. I think the issue is not the presence of the police/security officers (while that will help deter and solve some issues) but what we as a people have become. If you are sick or unwell how do you arrive at abusing the people who is responsible to assist you. We uphold and tolerate these characters at our homes and in the community then throw the blame/responsibility on the Government/police or whatever agency.

      • Ibo France
        June 26, 2018

        Jaimous, we are living in times where the sanctity of life means nothing to many, where decadence is ubiquitous, and to chastise someone can cost you your life. Security at the hospital and other frequented institutions unfortunately has become criticality important. The entire world is chaotic and rotten. Man’s heart has turned unbelievably uncaring and wicked. Some have opined that the only person who’s trustworthy in these times is your mother. Proper Security should be mandatory.

    • Ibo France
      June 26, 2018

      I strongly detest not deter. This automatic word processing is ruining my comments at times.

      June 26, 2018

      Ibo, One wonders how you would react or comment, God forbid you would be a patient in a critical situation at the hospital and All healthcare workers protesting peacefully by having a sit-in at their work places like you said until their demands you mentioned are fulfiled? Would that be ok with you?

      • Ibo France
        June 26, 2018

        KID, that’s a fair question but desperate times call for desperate measures. Nothing a government fears more than a monumental show of power by the people. The road to success is replete with many pitfalls. Nothing good comes easily. Let’s all be honest on this issues with the nurses. They are not afforded the respect, remuneration and working conditions that they so richly deserve. Bluntly, they deserve much better.

  9. Paul Rossnof
    June 26, 2018

    Day in and day out Dominica is slipping a foot further down a steep slope. All you nurses come to the UK. The NHS is recruiting qualified nurses at present and the pay is about 3.5 times what you would earn in DA.

  10. mine
    June 26, 2018

    TO ME it sound political. The nurses should get some one else to represent them.

    • Ibo France
      June 26, 2018

      Mine, if it sounds political nothing is wrong with that. Politics affects all aspects of our lives, the air we breathe, the food we eat, our employment, our roads and bridges, our wages, and even our healthcare system. Everyone has a constitutional and an inalienable right to speak out on issues that directly or indirectly affect his/her life. We have to disabuse ourselves of this misconception that when a person points out the wrongdoings, shortcomings and deceptions of government, that person is automatically an enemy of the ruling administration. Remember this, not because I don’t agree with you or support your party, makes me your enemy. We have to learn to take strong constructive criticisms. After reading the comments made by Ms. Félix, I asked myself, “Are her complaints and concerns legitimate?” The answer is a resounding YES!

  11. jamie
    June 26, 2018


  12. Sue Donym
    June 26, 2018

    Rosie seems to be playing politics with her association like the general Secretary of another union. Explain to me how you arrive at it being a lack of “political will”? Continue still

  13. Justice
    June 26, 2018

    The government is only interested in selling passports and begging all over the world for money since sadly enough that’s what drives our economy. Anything else is of very little or no significance. Sad, sad, so so sad.

    • DA fails
      June 26, 2018

      How you think we gonna afford to be climate resilient? All we can do is prostitute our sovereignty and beg. At least prostitutes doesn’t beg

  14. Unknown
    June 26, 2018

    This story is not entirely true as I was right there in the casualty at the time of the incident. There were two police officers on the scene when the patient came to casualty banging on the glass.

  15. RasD
    June 26, 2018

    Sadly the Nurse situation is in dire need of immediate change of Solutiin

  16. mine
    June 26, 2018

    I was working in a hospital in the NY these things happen every day where security and cameras are all over the place. Many times the patients come for the help the the way they are being treated upsets them.

    • DA fails
      June 26, 2018

      At least you get paid properly and as you know American police don’t mess around. 8)

  17. DA fails
    June 26, 2018

    Dominica still have local nurses? 8-O Y’all do know there are greener pastures over de horizon right? Would never put up with that bs

  18. marie-claire R Skerrit
    June 26, 2018

    Thats what the ministers need to look at its a shame man. No 7/24 security a shame

  19. waypapa
    June 26, 2018

    Why don’t Dr Benjamin put these types in a straight jacket?? He want to put normal people with depression in straight jacket for no reason but he fraid the violent ones?

    • Toto
      June 26, 2018

      You can’t do that! There wouldn’t be many people left in cabinet for a start.

      • Neville
        June 26, 2018

        That is very true…

  20. Anonymous
    June 26, 2018

    We. need 24 your police présence and cctv at our hospital. The security of patients and visitos to this health facilility is no less important than that of our P.M.

  21. Sams
    June 26, 2018

    Lady crap you talking you have a problem you call the police they are not station to hospital unless a prisoner is there you got to protect yourself

    • Music Producer
      June 26, 2018

      @ Sams – You are a piece of work, aren’t you? Hospitals and Health care facilities need security 24/7, especially if those facilities are state owned.

    • vrai den
      June 26, 2018

      Sams, I hope when the Cuban and other foreign nurses, that the government spoke about bringing to DA to help the nursing shortage, are abused just like the nurses o Saturday, you will have your same wonderful opinion of this situation. That’s how we are going to conduct our affairs? By having security available, who can’t do anything about a threatening patient?
      What if he had gotten the chance to attack the nurse physically? What if it was another patient that was attacked?

      It appears that this has been a long standing issue which has not been addressed adequately. As mentioned, attempts at addressing was made since 2007, that is more than 10 years ago. Nurses are the backbone of the healthcare system, they need protection, security, resources to do their job. Everybody is talking about “Resilience, Resilience, however we are forgetting some very basic things in life.

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