Nurses protest short staffing at EWMSC


Union member of the PSA Kester Thomas speaks with members of the media during a midday protest

at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex ,Mt Hope yesterday.


Rishard Khan

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from the Guardian Newspaper

"Bring the man­age­ment of the NCRHA (North Cen­tral Re­gion­al Health Au­thor­i­ty) to their heels. Let them do their work!"

This was the call made by sec­ond vice pres­i­dent of the T&T Reg­is­tered Nurs­es As­so­ci­a­tion (TTR­NA) Latisha Cox dur­ing a protest at the Er­ic Williams Med­ical Sci­ences Com­plex (EWM­SC) yes­ter­day.

Speak­ing briefly with the me­dia, Cox said the hos­pi­tal was "crit­i­cal­ly short-staffed" which is af­fect­ing the hos­pi­tal's abil­i­ty to pro­vide ad­e­quate health care to the pub­lic.

"Some­times we have one reg­is­tered nurse, one E.N.A. and about 23 or more pa­tients on a ward. We have to share med­ica­tion, we have to give IV. Lis­ten to me, this is about death and this is about life," she ex­plained.


Cox said em­ploy­ees are not be­ing giv­en per­ma­nent con­tracts or salary in­creas­es.

While she stat­ed they are not in the job for the mon­ey, she be­lieves this short­com­ing does not pro­vide in­cen­tives for work­ers to stay, fur­ther ex­as­per­at­ing the sit­u­a­tion.

"You can­not take care of your own fam­i­ly. How do you ex­pect the nurs­ing per­son­nel to stay and oth­er health work­ers to stay in em­ploy­ment. We can't stay here and not be­ing paid. Since 2013 peo­ple have not re­ceived an in­crease in their salary," she said.

The as­so­ci­a­tion al­so shared con­cerns over the safe­ty of nurs­es as TTR­NA lead staff rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the North­ern branch Kel­da Cor­nell-Gomez said there have been sev­er­al in­ci­dents where they were at­tacked while on the com­pound.

Al­so present at the joint protest ac­tion was chair­man of the EWM­SC branch of the Pub­lic Ser­vice As­so­ci­a­tion (PSA) Kestar Thomas.

He said they need­ed a "lit­tle more beef­ing up of se­cu­ri­ty; es­pe­cial­ly on the wards."

Thomas said there were gaps in the se­cu­ri­ty sys­tem which has led to in­ci­dents where peo­ple were sneak­ing past the se­cu­ri­ty and gain­ing ac­cess to the wards.

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