health

Feb. 19, 2021

LINEO MABEKEBEKE

2 min read

Nursing council slams picketing nurses

Nursing council slams picketing nurses

Members of the Lesotho Nurses Association

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THE Lesotho Nursing Council (LNC) has taken a swipe at nursing and midwifery personnel who are on go-slow for salary hikes, accusing them of acting both unethically and unprofessionally, while also putting patients under their care at risk.

The council has also appealed to the picketing health care providers to get proper guidance on how to table their grievances in accordance with laws that govern the trade in terms of industrial actions.  

There are 343 health care professionals who are on strike and they are drawn from the country’s only referral facility Queen ’Mamohato Memorial Hospital (QMMH) better known as Tšepong along with the centre’s filter clinics including Qoaling, Mabote and Likotsi.

LNC contends that such ‘unethical’ conduct cannot be tolerated as it tarnishes the image of the nursing profession while also destroying the trust patients and the society have in nurses and midwives.

The Registrar of LNC Flavia Moetsane-Poka has therefore appealed to the health care providers on strike to follow the appropriate procedures so that their grievances could be accordingly addressed.

Mrs Moetsane-Poka said their responsibilities as nurses, midwives and nursing assistants include among others to promote health, prevent illness, restore and alleviate suffering.

“LNC therefore calls for involved parties to work towards protecting patients and averting unnecessary mortalities,” she said during a press briefing that was held in Maseru on Wednesday.

QMMH nurses downed tools on January 28, demanding a review of their salaries which were last visited in 2012.

Prior to that, Tšepong management had informed its nurses and nursing assistants that the hospital would operate as another centre where confirmed COVID-19 cases would be managed. The hospital also showed that the Ministry of Health would deploy other nurses and nursing assistants to assist in managing the cases while Tšepong staff would be allocated to capacitate them, through sharing of skills.

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The Lesotho Nurses Association (LNA) and its executives throughout the country met on Tuesday to discuss the situation at Tšepong with the aim of paving the way forward.

The president of the association Raphael Tlali said they have agreed on the principle - an injury to one is an injury to all, adding that they are behind their colleagues at Tšepong all the way.

“If one member gets ill-treated, then those who are responsible will have the entire country’s nurses to answer to,” Mr Tlali warned.

He said on Monday after police dispersed the nurses who were picketing outside the hospital premises, the health workers who remained on duty included newly recruited nurses fresh from school and those engaged by the Ministry of Health.

 

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