The National, Monday 13th May 2013
PERSONNEL Management Secretary John Kali expressed shock after learning that nurses at the Nonga Base General Hospital in East New Britain were accommodated in transit houses and were away from their families while working night shifts due to lack of transport.
He was responding to concerns raised by Sr Eunice Seneka last week that nurses on the night shift roster frequently stayed away from their families for three days until they completed their shifts and during that time they were housed at the nursing officers’ transit home.
Seneka told Kali that transport needed to be improved so their nurses could go home again to their families after work.
She added that this had resulted in many nurses facing domestic problems with their families.
“The majority of nurses live in the villages and travel long distances, catching four to five buses daily and spend K20 to K30 for seven days and by the time they get their fortnight salary, they are left with K150 to K200,” Seneka said.
Kali said this was a serious management issue that must be addressed urgently.
“I cannot believe nurses are staying away from their families for three days.
“That is not necessary and that is a serious management problem that the director medical services must look into,” he said.
“The arrangement of a transit home is unacceptable so we have to look at developing some alternative and immediate strategies such as buying some buses to transport nurses to and from home for various shifts and rosters.”
Kali said he would bring this to the notice of the Health Department and said the government plans to build institutional housing for nurses at hospital premises.