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.
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.