Nurses part of back­bone of our health ser­vice

Fiji Sun - - COMMENT -

On Tues­day, we cel­e­brated In­ter­na­tional Nurses Day.

Min­is­ter for Health and Med­i­cal Ser­vices Dr Ifer­eimi Waqain­a­bete de­scribed it as a day to com­mem­o­rate the birth of the founder of mod­ern nurs­ing, Florence Nightin­gale.

The nurses con­sti­tute one of the im­por­tant pillars of our health and med­i­cal ser­vices. These ser­vices can­not op­er­ate with­out them

But more im­por­tantly, a spe­cial day to recog­nise and ap­pre­ci­ate the self­less work of nurses in our so­ci­ety.

The nurses con­sti­tute one of the im­por­tant pillars of our health and med­i­cal ser­vices. These ser­vices can­not op­er­ate with­out them.

In recog­ni­tion of their con­tri­bu­tion, the Govern­ment has raised their salaries de­servedly to be com­pat­i­ble with the kind of work they do.

Imag­ine all those years be­fore their big pay rise. They kept the health and med­i­cal ser­vices tick­ing de­spite some ex­tremely dif­fi­cult times.

When there is a dis­ease or virus out­break they are on the front­line.

They put their lives and their fam­i­lies’ lives at risk. To­wards the end of last year, they played a crit­i­cal role dur­ing the bat­tle against the measles out­break. No Fi­jian died from it.

Then came COVID-19. And again they were sent to the front­line to help fight the war against the killer virus.

In other coun­tries, health and med­i­cal work­ers have died from COVID-19.

We are for­tu­nate here that our front­lin­ers have not been in­fected, it’s a trib­ute to them that no Fi­jian has died.

The nurses have played a cru­cial role, even stay­ing away from fam­i­lies to man the iso­la­tion units in hos­pi­tals.

Dr Waqain­a­bete has rightly de­scribed them as the un­sung he­roes of COVID-19.

They com­prise close to 3200 mid­wives, nurse prac­ti­tion­ers and reg­is­tered nurses in the coun­try.

He says it is a thank­less job and their con­tri­bu­tion to­wards the well-be­ing of the na­tion can never be truly mea­sured.

In the midst of COVID-19 they have also been busy look­ing af­ter pa­tients with other ail­ments not as­so­ci­ated with the virus.

We owe them a sense of grat­i­tude for their ded­i­ca­tion and sac­ri­fice in the true Nightin­gale spirit.

Let’s ac­knowl­edge their con­tri­bu­tion by ex­press­ing our ap­pre­ci­a­tion when we meet them in and out­side of hos­pi­tals.

Some­times they may not meet our high expectatio­ns for rea­sons we do not know but only they know. Usu­ally those is­sues are be­yond their con­trol and not their fault. Let’s cel­e­brate Nurses Day ev­ery­day by how we treat them. NE­MANI DE­LAIBATIKI

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