NAJ backs protesting Cornwall Regional nurses
The Nurses Association of Jamaica (NAJ) says it is standing behind nurses at the Cornwall Regional Hospital who today went on strike to protest the air quality issues which have been affecting the institution.
NAJ president Janet Coore-Farr says the nurses have decided not to further expose themselves to the hazardous hospital environment created by noxious fumes from an old air conditioning system at the hospital.
She says the nurses are also against patients being exposed to the air inside the hospital.
Coore-Farr could not say when the nurses will return to their regular duties.
She says the nurses are now awaiting the health ministry's response to suggestions the NAJ has made to alleviate the burden placed on nurses and patients because of the poor air quality at Cornwall Regional.
Meanwhile, Chief Medical Officer Dr Winston De La Haye says he is surprised that some 33 per cent of the nurses at the Cornwall Regional Hospital went on strike this morning.
He says the health ministry had an emergency meeting yesterday and told the nurses of the ministry's plans to address the poor air quality at the hospital.
The health ministry says the issue of poor air quality at Cornwall Regional Hospital is caused by an old ventilation system which was recently put back into operations.
The system has emitted noxious fumes inside the building which has affected the health of patients and staff.
The fumes have also forced the closure of some floors and a major laboratory at the hospital.