‘Nurses a vi­tal force for pro­vid­ing qual­ity care in dif­fi­cult times’ – MUMN

● Yes­ter­day, 12 May, nurses around the world cel­e­brated In­ter­na­tional Nurses Day, the an­niver­sary of Florence Nightin­gale’s birth

The Malta Independent on Sunday - - NEWS -

The aim of the day is to cel­e­brate nurs­ing and to bring aware­ness of the im­por­tance of nurses’ work to as many peo­ple as pos­si­ble. The theme for this year as es­tab­lished by the In­ter­na­tional Coun­cil of Nurses (ICN) is: ‘Nurses: A voice to lead – Health is a Hu­man Right’. ‘Health is a Hu­man Right’ means that all hu­man be­ings have the right to ac­cess af­ford­able and qual­ity health care at a time when they need it most. A core build­ing block of the right to health and the as­pi­ra­tion for the high­est at­tain­able stan­dard of health is an ef­fec­tive and in­te­grated health sys­tem that en­com­passes health care that is con­cerned about the de­ter­mi­nants of health. This health sys­tem also needs to be re­spon­sive to both lo­cal and na­tional pri­or­i­ties and be ac­ces­si­ble to all. When this is achieved, the foun­da­tions are set in place for a healthy and eq­ui­table so­ci­ety.

Nurses are the largest pro­fes­sion in the health work­force, the Malta Union of Mid­wives and Nurses said in a state­ment. The nurs­ing pro­fes­sion is well-po­si­tioned to drive ef­fi­ciency and ef­fec­tive im­prove­ments while pro­vid­ing op­ti­mal pa­tient care. Nurses are at the core of at­tain­ing the best qual­ity, ac­cess, and cost bal­ance. The MUMN af­firms that nurses, in their ev­ery­day work, are al­ready on the way to en­sur­ing that these goals are achieved. As rec­om­mended by the ICN, the nurs­ing pro­fes­sion is join­ing forces and mak­ing its voice heard, as nurses can lead the way to bet­ter health for all. The MUMN wants to share that mes­sage, so that the voice of nurses will be vi­tal to the cru­cial con­ver­sa­tion around the na­tion’s health care re­forms. It is there­fore es­sen­tial that nurses and pol­icy-mak­ers fo­cus on the nurs­ing role in care-ef­fec­tive and cost-ef­fec­tive health­care sys­tems as a key pri­or­ity and de­termi- nant for achiev­ing eq­uity, de­liv­er­ing univer­sal health cov­er­age and ul­ti­mately im­prov­ing health out­comes glob­ally.

Health care sys­tems can only func­tion with ap­pro­pri­ately skilled and avail­able health work­ers. If the right to the high­est at­tain­able stan­dard of health is to be achieved, it is de­pen­dent on the ac­ces­si­bil­ity, avail­abil­ity and qual­ity of health sys­tems and the peo­ple who work in them. For this to be achiev­able, there are mul­ti­ple chal­lenges that need to be ad­dressed, which in­clude ad­dress­ing the is­sues re­lated to the nurses’ short­age, un­bal­anced skill mix and high work­loads. In­vest­ment in these ar­eas of the health work­force will lead to im­proved health and eco­nomic growth. In­vest­ing in the nurs­ing work­force will see ma­jor re­turns on in­vest­ment. A strong nurs­ing sec­tor is the nec­es­sary build­ing block of a strong health care sec­tor. Nurses must be en­cour­aged to take sig­nif­i­cant lead­er­ship roles in health pol­icy, plan­ning, and pro­vi­sion. Lit­er­a­ture in­di­cates that the qual­ity of nurs­ing, the cul­ture and as­so­ci­ated work­loads are as­so­ci­ated with pa­tient out­comes in­clud­ing length of stays, mor­tal­ity, mor­bid­ity, pa­tient sat­is­fac­tion and a range of other qual­ity mea­sures.

In­her­ent in this year’s theme, is that nurses are a vi­tal force for pro­vid­ing qual­ity care in dif­fi­cult times by help­ing the sys­tem to be more cost-ef­fec­tive and care-ef­fec­tive. Good qual­ity care and pa­tient safety are at the core of the MUMN’s vi­sion. The MUMN, as the ve­hi­cle of in­flu­ence in achiev­ing nurs­ing goals, will con­tinue to be a lead­ing voice. Through a col­lab­o­ra­tive ef­fort, the MUMN will en­deav­our to work for the ben­e­fit of so­ci­ety, the ad­vance­ment of the pro­fes­sion and the de­vel­op­ment of its mem­bers.

Hence, the MUMN is com­mit­ted to en­sure that: a) more in­di­vid­u­als join and be part of the nurs­ing pro­fes­sion; b) nurses’ short­age is tack­led ef­fec­tively and ef­fi­ciently, so that good qual­ity care is en­sured; c) nurses will have the op­por­tu­nity to fur­ther their ed­u­ca­tion and spe­cialise in nurs­ing prac­tice; d) en­hance nurses’ pro­fes­sional sta­tus; e) work­places are safe, so that nurses to­gether with the mul­ti­dis­ci­plinary team will strengthen health sys­tems and im­prove pa­tient safety. In this re­gard, the MUMN looks for­ward to: a) that through the nurs­ing cam­paign more stu­dents will join the nurs­ing pro­fes­sion; b) nurses will have their area of spe­cial­i­sa­tion recog­nised through the spe­cial­ist frame­work; c) for a new sec­toral agree­ment that will pro­vide av­enues to which nurses will be at­tracted, re­cruited and re­tained as part of the lo­cal nurs­ing work­force. The MUMN will strive to ad­vo­cate and re­in­force the crit­i­cal role of nurses in the de­vel­op­ment of qual­ity health pol­icy and the ef­fec­tive and ef­fi­cient re­design of health sys­tems that in­crease ac­cess and de­liv­ery of ef­fec­tive health in­ter­ven­tions.

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