Nurses want six months’ notice

BARBADOS: PHILIPPINE NURSES on contract at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) want Government to give them at least six months’ notice before sending them home.

Three weeks ago, Minister of Health, Dr David Estwick, made it clear at a St Philip West constituency branch meeting of the Democratic Labour Party that the Philippines/Nigerian nurses would be sent packing at the end of their contracts.

However, most of them would like to have their contracts renewed.

Speaking anonymously, one male nurse who has been here for two-and-a-half years said he loved the island, the people and its culture, but when it came to finance, the pay was not that outstanding.

“It works out better when you send it back home but you still have to spend a lot here, so there’s really no difference,” he stated.

“If we have to go back home, then there’s nothing we can do, but the least they can do is give us time
to make proper arrangements and apply for jobs somewhere else,”
he said.

“The QEH is a lovely facility. But the pay is not all that good and sometimes the nurses have too many patients to deal with. Back home it is one nurse to four to six patients, sometimes here you find a ward with only one nurse to 24 patients, so that could never be quality nursing. They need to hire more nurses,” he stated.

His colleague, a female, agreed and said she was also experiencing a problem with her gratuity.

“They promised us when we came that we would get a yearly gratuity. But November has gone long since and up to now, I have not received mine yet. If they are going to send us home, I need to have my money before I leave,” she stated.

She stated it was not the money that attracted her to Barbados, but a change of atmosphere.

“Where I worked in Dubai is one of the richest places. The money there is really good and there are more benefits, but sometimes you want to explore different cultures,” she stated.

A married couple who have also been here for nearly three years, said they too would like
to continue working.

When contacted, QEH communications specialist Mike Maycock, said the administration was not prepared to speak about any individual salaries, gratuity payments or other conditions of service with the newspaper. (CT)

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