Nursing lecturers lobby for duty-free concessions

first_imgGeorgetown School of Nursing Principal Cleopatra Barkoye on Thursday called on the Public Health Ministry to have nursing tutors granted duty-free concessions.She said a principal nursing tutor had stated that in order to be qualified as a tutor, a nurse must undergo many years of preparation and would usually travel for more than 30 miles per day.She implored that while the Minister would not be in a “position to do anything at present about their salaries”, he could at least help them to help the students. She pointed out that nursing lecturers are also eligible for duty-free concessions.“We are only 10 in numbers at present. Help us to feel proud of our experience,” she said, adding that there was already a shortage of nurses, so it was only fitting that the Minister did everything to retain qualified nurses.“We are teachers too, but the advantage we have over any teachers is that we are also nurses and midwives,” Barkoye remarked.Prior to 2008, duty-free concessions for nursing tutors had always been lobbied for and acknowledged by the Ministry. Former Health Minister, Dr Leslie Ramsammy had stated that the concession was something that could be granted once it was explored fully.Nurses have continuously griped about poor wages and deplorable working conditions.Nurses from across the country, particularly in Linden, Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice); Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo), and on the East Bank and East Coast of Demerara and in Georgetown, had complained that their salary and work conditions were not allowing them to offer proper health care.They lamented their paltry salaries and annual allowances such as $13,000 for uniforms and footwear and in some cases as little as $500 for risk allowance in some hazardous areas of work such as dealing with psychiatric patients.Meanwhile, University of Guyana Health Sciences Faculty Director Wilton Benn outlined that there was a need for investment in nursing. “Investment in nursing is an investment in the health of the nation,” he said. He further stressed the need for nurses to be highly trained and qualified for their position in the health sector. He stated that the Faculty has so far invested in the training of nursing tutors to ensure that they were producing good graduates.last_img

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