There are doctors then there are nurses. Both have been an extricable part of our lives now and will be in the near and far future. All professions have their own challenges but the calling that arrives in a person’s life inextricably leads us to one at some point. We fall in love with the profession and wish for the best. Then, these professions have some version of oaths, pledges, rules, practices, tenets, missions, visions and ethics that drive the work that will be a part of the life of person in it. In democracies, governments are elected and expected to manage, lead, and govern the society made up of a myriad of sectors of professionals. A well-oiled, competent and people-driven government will never be corrupted. Governments are there to make sure that the resources are pooled in such a way that it will grow with the population and make peoples’ lives healthier and happier as the wealth is shared equally and fairly. The nurses of the country are at the frontline of said health and thus should be the last to complain. Should being the operative word.
In Belize, suffering from the terminally-ill UDP, Barrow’s Law (Murphy has been Trumped) has instilled. Belize’s nurses have found themselves in a conundrum of issues hitting their profession. In 2020, the Nurses Association (NA) is observing the “Year of the Nurses and Midwife”; this is in unison with the International Council of Nurses. But in that same year of celebration, the alignment has not necessarily been jovial.
Last week Friday January 10, a release from the NA demanded action from the Ministries of Health and the Ministry of Public Services. The release follows a meeting where the Nursing Task Force discussed the progress, or lack thereof, on recommendations made to those ministries to address issues affecting the nursing profession.
Those issues include:
The urgent filling of the posts of Deputy Director of Health/ Chief Nursing Officer and the post of the Registrar.
A representative on the selection panel in the recruitment of nurses to fill those specified vacancies.
Critical issue of shortage of nurses to be addressed.
The Nursing Task Force release: “calls on the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Public Service to respond in writing to all correspondences previously sent by the Nursing Task Force within the next five days(this has lapsed) to avoid escalation of the tension within the nursing community”. Dr. Manzanero, the Director of Health Services has balked at the idea that his desk would be responsible for a reply.
Ahead are the press release in question. There was also a second release where the Public Service Union chimed in to express support for the plight of the nurses.