Saturday, February 24, 2018

Where’s the outcry over falling nursing standards?

Why is there no fully trained Trinidad and Tobago staff nurse speaking out about the sorry state of affairs in the health sector, regarding the whittling away of international standards in our nursing school?

What appears to be happening is that in order to fill the public hospitals with enough nursing staff, there appears to be a grand plan to do away with exams. What would be left after the “dumbing down” would be several citizens of varying ages who will be experts in changing sheets, bathing patients and sharing out food. All other duties will be done by “medical technicians”. In my estimation, junior doctors are the new “nurses” as the nurses would be unable to make day-to-day decisions in their field of expertise, without conferring with junior doctors.

The several private medical establishments, like the expensive all-inclusive fetes, will cater to those who can pay the fees. These hospitals are well equipped and well staffed. A pleasurable experience to be ill under First-World conditions. It calls for a sou-sou hand in money but well worth the service.

So what of the man in the street who can only afford a general hospital? Out there in foreign, health-care standards are generally maintained and the only grouse is the long waiting lists.

It is patently obvious that with the removal of a final exam for nurses, then it must follow that you do not need extra qualifications to be trained as a glorified nursing cleaner. One can forget about meeting the standards abroad, should you desire to work outside Trinidad and Tobago. But that is not the concern of this sitting Government, and they need to convince us otherwise. There is a very short time between now and the date of the general election in 2015.

Are we really considering CEPEP-type (Com­munity-based Environmental Protection and Enhancement Programme) nursing? Is it part of a scheme of private hospitals to quietly steal away and keep the rich patients for them to fight over?’

Say it isn’t so, Health Minister Fuad Khan. But on the other hand, if the qualified nurses are not talking and fielding questions, why not walk all over them? They are looking for dat!

Lynette Joseph

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