Categorized | National News

Health Minister to Examine the Working Conditions of Nursing Professionals

Minister of Health Dr. Duane Sands said when the current government administration and his tenure as minister of health is examined, he will be accused of having looked at the service, conditions of service and the respect paid to nurses.

“It is no question that the attendance by nurses contributes more to the perception and to the quality of healthcare than virtually any other part of healthcare,” Dr. Sands said during a short ceremony before the start of the 5th Annual Nurses Month Parade at the Ministry of Health, Meeting Street, Tuesday, May 30, 2017.

The parade culminated a month of activities celebrating Nurses Month, which was held under the theme, “Nurses: A Voice to Lead — Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.”

Dr. Sands said, “We have not afforded nurses the level of respect and appreciation that they deserve, and so the charge has been given and the entire leadership of health needs to find a real tangible way to show respect and appreciation for what you do.”

He further explained that nurses are the only group of healthcare professionals who are with patients 24 hours every day.

Therefore, the health minister said nurses’ voices must lead the way to achieving the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which must be achieved by the year 2030.

He added that goal number three focuses on good health, but health is linked to most, if not all, of the 17 goals.

“It is no secret that there are mitigating factors that challenge you as nurses in your quest to achieve the SDGs.

“These factors include: the rising cost of healthcare, increasing consumer expectations and demands, our aging population, the nursing shortage in this country, natural and manmade disasters, new and re-emerging diseases, increases in non-chronic communicable diseases and a focus on community based care.”

Dr. Sands said these challenges are multiplied when the services have to be provided for an archipelagic nation.

“Despite all of these mitigating circumstances, you continue to provide nursing services with dedication throughout this country and I salute you for that.”

He reiterated that in The Bahamas, nurses are the voices to be heard in achieving the SDGs, because in the public hospitals, they are the ones whom physicians like himself rely upon to carry out the various treatment modalities.

“For example, the expanded programme on immunization, which has always been managed by nurses, is the envy of many in this region.

“Our immunization coverage has ranged from 86 to 97 per cent and that is mainly attributed to the contribution of nurses.  That is a massive accomplishment for a country that has limited resources.

“So the government is appreciative of the important role that nurses play in providing universal health coverage,” Dr. Sands said.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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