Fiji Nurses Assoc calls for Ministry of Health to retain experienced staff

The Fiji Nurses Association says despite a boost in the number of nurses, the quality of nursing will decline if senior and experienced nurses are not retained by the Ministry of Health.

The Ministry has announced that 35 new doctors and fifty four nurses are to join the ministry, with an additional 200 nurses expected to join in March.

The general secretary of the Nurses Association, Salanieta Matiavi, says this is great news, however young nurses coming straight out of school still need their older colleagues to mentor them on the job.

She says the government stopped the re-engagement of nurses who have gone past the 55 year old retirement age last year.

"They want to increase the number of nurses, but not looking at the experiences and how these young nurses are going to be guided along to perform to expectations. We're looking at quality, quality nursing, it's going to be really affected. Experienced nurses are getting out of the ministry."

Salanieta Matiavi says as well as boosting man-power the government needs to also look at providing basic necessities for nurses like gloves and syringes, that are often out of stock.

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