Nigerian nurses demand new salary scheme

Posted by News Express | 3 October 2015 | 9,720 times

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Mrs. Olusola Agunloye of the national Orthopaedic Hospital, Igbobi, Lagos, on Friday urged the government to sign into law the new scheme of service for nurses currently on its table.

Agunloye, Chairman National Association of Nurses and Midwives, National Orthopaedic Hospital (NOHIL), Igbobi, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.

She spoke on the sidelines of the Nurses Week/Scientific Conference with the theme, ‘Nurses: A Force for Change – Care Effective, Cost Effective, Improving Health and Wellbeing,’ which ended on Friday.

Mrs. Agunloye said: “To be honest, nurses are not well remunerated in Nigeria; they work like horses but have little to show for it in terms of remunerations in spite of working under pressure.

“It is disheartening to see government employing nurses on grade level 7, while other health practitioners start from Grade level 9 and above.

“We have been operating on an obsolete scheme of services. This is an unfair situation; nurses’ welfare should be paramount to the government.”

Mrs. Agunloye attributed the situation of the nurses to their not having representatives at high positions who could push their agitations.

According to her, “Nurses are treated like second hand citizens in Nigeria, but the intriguing thing there is that this was not the case in other countries where our leaders visit.

“We have other professionals coming to the hospital from higher level.

“We are told that the new scheme has not been signed into law in spite of the fact that we have been on it for quite a while now with nothing done to address the imbalance.

“Graduate nurses come in from Grade level 7 in spite of the fact that they spend the same years with doctors in the university.

“Nurses spend five years, so likewise the doctors, the sixth year for doctors is for housemanship and for which they are fully paid.”

Mrs. Agunloye also called on the government to revisit the call duty allowance for the health practitioners.

“Most of the time nurses stay in the hospital 24 hours as against doctors who often come on routine checkups. Government should also look into the call duty allowance of nurses too as they are exempted from the allowance. The call duty allowances paid to nurses are only the ones in the theatre section,” she said.

Contributing, Mrs. Temitope Alabi, Secretary, NOHIL NANNM, said it was unfortunate that people had different opinion about nursing in terms of ethics.

Her words: “People have a wrong notion that nurses are bad people and impatient. I seem to disagree with that notion and even our medical director can attest to this fact.

“Most of the nurses people talk about that they are bad are untrained nurses and we have been on it for quite a while even with the ones been portrayed by our actors and actresses are been addressed.

“We tried to look at what the nurses are going through, if a nurse has to take care of about 32 patients as against international standard of 1:1 or 1:2 on ratio to a patients there is a huge deficit.

“Nurses want to do their jobs with conscience attending to many patients at a time makes the nurse to grow weary, as you know we have various degree of patients.”

“The main problem,” she added, “is the shortage of personnel; we have an international standard which is not practised in Nigeria.

“Most often in Nigeria, we have a nurse taking care of 32 patients or more in the ward with many degrees of health challenges with those that are critically ill.

“Nurses are not super human beings.”

On the significance of the programme, Mrs. Alabi said that it was to meet with the standards of the International Council of Nursing.

She said: “The international council wants us to look into how nurses can ensure that the cares we give to patients are effective and cost-effective.

“Even as we are talking about affordable health, it will still be an effective one that can take the patients from the state of sickness to recovery.

“On the scientific level we look at the new innovations and how to key into these practices as it is being done in developed countries.

“How these things can be of benefit to our nurses and patients in particular.”

Mrs. Alabi said that there were new approaches to nursing practices now, innovations such as Nursing Informatics, and Telemedicine.

“These,” she said, “are the new innovations in information technologies that enhance our approach to patient care; we want to reduce the number of hours patients spend in hospitals.

“The Nursing Informatics provides for the data of the patients with network with all the department the patient would visit during his time in the hospital.

“The x-ray, consulting room, to the consultant all these would help us to have the same approach to the treatment of patients; these can be achieved by the use of intranet.

“Telemedicine is an innovation whereby a patient can interface with the hospital online.

“This is a real time technology that gives access to the patient to consult without leaving the house; this would have reduced man-hour loss.” (NAN)

Source: News Express

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