By LULU MARK
NURSES in Port Moresby want the Government through the Health Department to ensure their safety before they attend to patients with the coronavirus, a nurse representative says.
The Port Moresby General Hospital (PMGH), National Capital District Health Authority (NCDPHA), Laloki Public Psychiatric Hospital (LPPH) and PNG Defence Force (PNGDF) had a meeting this week and resolved to stage a sit-in protest today from 8am to 12pm until the Health Minister, Health secretary, PMGH and NCD PHA chief executive officer attend to their petition.
PNG Nurses Association (PNGNA) NCD branch president Sr Esther Pisoro said the meeting came about after the PMGH emergency department nurses raised a concern to the association that with the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, their lives were at risk because of the lack of personal protective equipment (PPE).
She said the PPE they referred to were basic hat, facemasks, gowns, goggles and shoes.
She said there were no 75 per cent alcohol sanitisers that was needed to sanitise their hands as well
“We don’t have this in place currently,” Pisoro said.
“Patients coming in will be treated as a Covid-19 case whether confirmed or not and without the proper PPE we already feel defeated.
“We are seeing news from other countries and globally about nurses and doctors being the first people to die.
“We are very worried for our health and safety.
“Without training conducted and PPE provided and available at our health facilities we can’t be forced by any of the bosses to go and stand and attend to the patients.
“For that reason we will have a sit-in protest tomorrow (today),” she said.
“Port Moresby General Hospital is the country’s Level 7 specialist, referral and training hospital and if it is lacking these things then the other 21 provinces can be assumed to be facing the same issue.”
Pisoro said PMGH nurses during the state of emergency were calling for:
- PROVISION of PPEs;
- ESTABLISHMENT of Covid-19 quarantine facility away from PMGH;
- RISK and duty allowance;
- TRANSPORT for pick up and drop off including security;
- FOOD rations as some stuff due to their schedule have difficulty getting food; and,
The PNG Defence Force nurses had adequate supplies.