The Botswana Nurses Union (BONU) President Obonolo Rahube has called upon the government to up its game in addressing the welfare of nurses.
Rahube speaking at an occasion to celebrate the International Nurses day.
“The employer should ensure that the welfare of nurses is taken care off. The Ministry should stop its behaviour of failure to engage in good faith. It’s sad that the employer feels that provision of transport, accommodation and psychological support especially during COVID-19 is some kind of favour to nurses and that is the behaviour of a regressing government.
Over and above, the afore-mentioned challenges, we have a leadership vacuum at the ministerial level. Just recently we saw permanent secretary and his Deputy relieved of their duties and an acting permanent secretary makes pronouncement of extending opening hours for clinics to 8pm without consultation with union, “ Rahube said.
He said this goes against the spirit of consultation and is shocking that one takes a decision that nurses should knock off at 8 pm without taking issues of public transport into consideration. In addition, he said government should invest in
He also called upon the government to urgently provide subsidised accommodation for nurses and midwives as it has emerged during the fight against COVID-19 that accommodation for such professionals is very vital.
He stated that government should provide risk allowance to nurses and midwives as they are at high risk of contracting infectious diseases as frontline workers. The issue about nurse:patient ratio to be addressed is yet another matter that he called on government to deal with.
Rahube also said there is lack of adequate personal protective equipment to protect nurses and patients against infection.
“Even now, a large number of policymakers and health care administrators have been slow to respond to the matters. This is despite the fact that the world has been aware of COVID-19 since January and that various organisations and health care staff raised alarm and asked for government action weeks ago, “ he said.