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LETTER OF THE DAY - Enough is enough

Published:Wednesday | March 3, 2010 | 12:00 AM

The Editor,

It appears that not a single month, let alone a week, will pass and there is not some public brawl between the nurses and the Government. Last week Tuesday and this Monday are typical examples. I am at a loss as to the bone of contention. There is talk of reclassification and salary negotiations, and the list goes on and on; and if the president of the Nurses' Association of Jamaica, Edith Allwood-Anderson, carries out her threat to register nurses only for a contractual basis, that is, working on their own terms, then our overburdened health sector may suffer the more.

This proposed plan of action may open a can of worms which can prove detrimental, to say the least. In the United States, Canada, Europe and some Asian countries, most nurses are employed on renewable and extended contracts. We have seen evidence of this when these foreign nursing agencies come and woo our registered, enrolled and practical nurses with their lucrative offers. Many have left, as a result, to take up these postings where the grass is greener.

If the Nurses' Association of Jamaica uses conventional wisdom, it would realise it may be giving its employer, the Ministry of Health, very little room to manoeuvre, and may very well force them to join the growing markets that import nurses, a market Jamaica has sadly exported to in the not-so-distant past. The time is well ripe for these two bodies to sit down and really meet each other halfway to settle this matter finally.

Enough is enough.

I am, etc.,

Rodwin Green