THE International Nurses Day has come and gone quietly.
The day, which corresponds with Florence Nightingale’s May 12 birthday, has become a time to recognise nurses and the contributions they make to the health and well-being of the public.
The day is observed around the world to commemorate nurses and the nursing profession.
While celebrations and acknowledgements took place globally, we have news that the 250-plus nurses in Eastern Highlands are waiting for an answer to their petition.
They are on a sit-in-protest over concerns that include the implementation of the 2016-2018 and 2021-2023 awards and the Covid-19 allowance and establishment of the director of nursing service position in the Eastern Highlands health authority.
Doctors at the Goroka Provincial Hospital are concerned that the sit-in protest staged by its nursing staff is affecting patient care at the hospital.
With more than 250 nurses having walked off their jobs in the province, this meant doctors and other staff had to take on the extra responsibilities.
This was causing fatigue and affecting their ability to provide efficient service.
Nursing is a profession within the healthcare sector which is focused on the care of individuals, families and communities so they may attain, maintain or recover optimal health and quality of life.
The theme for the 2021 International Nurses Day: Resource is nurses: A voice to lead – A vision for future healthcare.
The theme seeks to show how nursing will look in the future as well how the profession will transform the next stage of healthcare.
Nurses are at the forefront of fighting epidemics and pandemics – providing high quality and respectful treatment and care.
In PNG, the Covid-19 pandemic is a stark reminder of the vital role nurses play.
Nurses are the backbone of our healthcare system.
They have been risking their lives for months. We have seen the devastations caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
In almost two years since the pandemic began, the world has seen over 160 million coronavirus cases and over 3 million deaths worldwide.
The pandemic has burdened our health infrastructure unlike before.
The state of the world’s nursing 2020: Investing in education, jobs and leadership comes as the world witnesses unprecedented political commitment to universal health coverage.
The report revealed that opportunities for advanced nursing education and enhanced professional roles, including at the policy level, can drive improvements in population health.
Our emergency preparedness and response capacity is being tested by the current Covid-19 outbreak.
We support recommendations from the report that our Government should invest in the massive acceleration of nursing education – faculty, infrastructure and students – to address global needs, meet domestic demand and respond to changing technologies and advancing models of integrated health and social care; that we should strengthen nurse leadership – both current and future leaders – to ensure that nurses have an influential role in health policy formulation and decision-making and contribute to the effectiveness of health and social care systems.
Nurses provide vital care in each of these circumstances.
Now, more than ever, the world needs them working to the full extent of their education and training.
The National / PNG Health watch
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