Fri | Jul 21, 2017

NAJ expresses alarm at attack on nurses

Published:Monday | March 30, 2015 | 3:05 PM

PRESIDENT OF the Nurses Association of Jamaica (NAJ) Janet Coore-Farr has joined Health Minister Dr Fenton Ferguson and Member of Parliament for West Portland Daryl Vaz in condemning Sunday night's vicious attack on two Cuban nurses attached to the Buff Bay Community Hospital in Portland.

The Gleaner understands that the nurses have been transferred to a Corporate Area hospital for further treatment.

Swift action by the police in Portland yesterday has resulted in the detention of a man believed to be the person who attacked the nurses.

Coore-Farr told The Gleaner yesterday that the latest attack on the Cuban nurses follows the abduction and severe assault of a nurse in St. Catherine last week. She said the nurse was help up after reaching her home in the parish at about eight O' clock in the evening.

She said the nurse was taken into the hills of St Catherine and later released after her frightening ordeal.

The NAJ president expressed alarm at the recent attacks on members of the profession noting that there was a time in Jamaica when nurses in uniform could go about their business without fear of being harmed.

She said the NAJ was seeking to forge an alliance with a private sector firm and the Government to provide transportation for nurses to and from work.

In condemning the incident, Ferguson said: "This is a disgusting and vicious act undertaken by a coward. To enter the residence of two females and attack them in this manner is cowardly and unforgivable especially since they have committed themselves to service to the people of that community. It is time that we start thinking about the implications that these acts can have on our country as a whole and stand up against this type of behaviour."

"We will do everything we can to bring the person to justice and I urge the residents of Buff Bay and anyone else who may have information to share it with the police immediately. None of us is immune to this kind of action and so we have to support each other and send a strong message to criminals," he urged.

He charged that the country should not allow anyone to disrupt services to others and prevent health workers from carrying out their duties in a safe and comfortable atmosphere.

In his comments, Vaz called on the Ministry of Health to arrange counselling for the nurses to minimise any long term psychological effects on them.

Vaz said he hoped the incident would not tarnish or jeopardise in any way the various health programmes between Jamaica and Cuba.