Oct 22, 2008 News
‘Sit-in’ affects the functioning of the hospital
– Dr. Bheri Ramsaran
Following comments by nurses at the Wismar Hospital that ‘there is no written document from the government that states if anything happens to you while on duty, you will be compensated,’ Minister within the Ministry of Health, Dr. Bheri Ramsaran, when questioned by this newspaper on the issue yesterday responded, “Which document needs to be signed by government for that?”
The nurses yesterday continued their ‘sit in’ to protest the treatment being meted out to their colleagues who were recently robbed and raped while on duty at the Wismar Hospital.
In an invited comment, the junior Minister said that he is not au fait with the document of which the nurses spoke, as it relates to threats concerning their well being.
However, according to Dr Ramsaran, since the incident occurred at the hospital, a number of recommendations were made by the nurses in order to improve the security at the medical institution.
He explained that all the recommendations were implemented. There is now a ‘drop to spot’ for nurses, stronger police presence and the recruitment of more able-bodied security officers at the hospital.
As it relates to this ongoing ‘sit in’ by the nurses, Dr. Ramsaran said that so far he has not had any discussions with the nurses, as he is currently awaiting a report from the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health for an update on the situation.
He noted that there is a procedure where the union representing the nurses would communicate the nurses’ concerns to the Chief Executive Officer of the Hospital, who would in turn pass the information onto the Permanent Secretary, who would then report it to him.
The junior Minister is now awaiting the report from the permanent secretary.
Dr. Ramsaran acknowledged that the protest by nurses is having a severe impact on the functioning of the hospital.
As an alternative, he says that he ‘hopes’ that there is a ‘skeleton staff’ in place at the hospital, so as to ensure that the institution runs smoothly.
According to Dr. Ramsaran, the union is tasked with the responsibility of overseeing that a ‘skeleton staff’ is instituted.
He noted that the aim is to mitigate any negative effect that the protest might have on the community and the patients.
Some one month ago bandits stormed the Wismar Hospital Complex at Blue Berry Hill, where they attacked and robbed two nurses of their jewellery, cell phones, a watch and a portable DVD player.
During the robbery, one of the nurses was brutally raped, while her other colleague was made to watch.
Reports indicate that two men, one of whom was armed with a handgun, confronted the two nurses who were on duty at the time in the casualty ward of the hospital, where they robbed them and then made good their escape.
Following the incident, the hospital was deserted, as no staff member reported for duty the following day. (Fareeza Haniff).
When ayuh will wake up?
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