The President of the Nurses Association, Soria Dupie-Winston, is calling on the Government to ensure that nurses and other health professionals are properly equipped with the right tools, and the proper enviroment, to do their jobs.
Dupie-Winston made the call in her 2021 Labour Day message.
She says the country continues to face challenging times, and health officials are learning to “cope and function within the dynamics of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
During all this, she says, the front-line workers, including nurses and other healthcare workers, continue to labour tirelessly and sacrifice for love of humanity and country.
Moreover, Dupie-Winston says that nurses continue to function in a pivotal role at all levels of the healthcare spectrum despite the threat to their lives and sources of existence.
“This, indeed, was driven home when … one of our colleagues became a casualty of COVID-19 while being in active duty,” Dupie-Winston says.
She was referring to the passing of Nurse Cynthia Byers, who became one of the 32 official casualties of the virus in February.
Dupie-Winston says her Association is looking forward to the day the Government realizes and rewards the invaluable contributions nurses continue to make towards national health and safety.
Meanwhile, she is calling for mechanisms to stop the annual migration of nurses from Antigua and Barbuda and, to a larger extent, from the region.
Every year, trained nurses leave our shores for many reasons, including better pay and opportunities, the President says.
Accordingly,Government should implement innovative ways to retain “our most skilled and valuable nurses,” so that the healthcare facilities and services can meet the needs of the population.