By JAMES APA GUMUNO
NURSES in Chimbu have called on the national government to fast-track the processing of their awards.
Simbu Nurses Association president Martella Bige Kuman said the awards were declared in 2006.
She claimed while the awards were effected for other health workers – doctors, health extension officers and technicians and community health workers – that same year, nurses nationwide suffered.
Kuman was speaking in support of National Nurses Association secretary Jack Suao who, last Monday, called on the government and the concerned authorities to process the awards immediately.
She said it was the nurses’ rightful allowances and they also wanted to see some changes in their pay packets like other health workers.
She said nurses played a very important role, known as “nursing care”, and they look after patients 24 hours every day.
“Without nurses, doctors cannot perform their duties effectively. Nurses are the eyes, hands and legs for the doctors,” she said.
Kuman said nurses’ assessment, evaluation and reporting on patients helped doctors take the fast possible action to save the lives of patients.
She said given the nature of their work, the nurses deserved to be paid their awards on time together with their other colleagues.
The nurses had been waiting for their awards for four years.
She called on the National Nursing Association to critically look into the matter and consider the legal implications if nurses throughout the country were to walk off their jobs if the government continued with its delay technique.
Kuman said the nurses were not sure what was causing the delay.
She said this lack of action also contributed to the low moral among nurses throughout the country.