Saturday, May 25, 2024
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12-hour shift for nurses is inhumane: Ravunawa

Shadow Minister for Health, Penioni Ravunawa says he is deeply concerned with the Ministry of Health’s stance on continuing 12-hour shifts for nurses in facilities that are currently understaffed.

He said the well-being of our healthcare professionals should be of paramount importance, and this approach will inevitably lead to more harm than good.

“Hundreds of dedicated nurses are bearing the brunt of mismanagement and poor
staffing.”

“The current nursing staff are being severely overworked – a state of affairs that is not sustainable and endangers not only the physical and mental health of our healthcare heroes but also the quality and safety of patient care which they provide.”

Ravunawa claims the Government’s strategy, which is tantamount to a quick fix, rather than a sustainable resolution, is disturbing.

“My contention is that, in lieu of pushing our current nurses to the brink of their power, we should be investing significant resources in training and recruiting more health nurses. This initiative could even provide a much-needed boost to the job market.”

“In light of tragic incidents directly related to the strain of overstretched working hours
and lack of rest, it’s alarming that necessary provisions like restrooms, hot meals
(supper), and appropriate rest periods are not being offered to our frontline heroes.”

“We must remember that these nurses are not just healthcare professionals but
human beings with their own health and family needs.”

“It is unfortunate that these long shifts have resulted in a high attrition rate amongst
our nurses. The coalition government needs to secure better working conditions, or
we risk losing more and more dedicated and experience nurses. This state of affairs
is undesirable in any circumstances.”

“The need of the hour is simple – better management of nurse availability, an
immediate increase in recruitment, and a strict implementation of standard working
hours.”

“As the opposition health spokesperson, I urge the Ministry of Health and the
coalition cabinet to take all necessary measures to rectify this situation – by not only
reinstating the rights of our nurses but also ensuring their health, safety, and dignity
in the workplace,” Ravunawa added.

Reginald Chandar
Reginald Chandar
Head of News & Sports | news@fijilive.com

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