JIS News

Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Pearnel Charles, has summoned an emergency meeting for Tuesday morning (August 11) at the Ministry in Kingston, to discuss the current demonstration by registered nurses at public health facilities.
The Ministry of Labour confirmed today that Mr. Charles has summoned the parties – the Nurses Association of Jamaica (NAJ) and the Ministry of Health(MOH)- to the emergency meeting, following a request from Health for its intervention.
The MOH, in a release, said it sought Mr. Charles’ intervention, after being advised of a demonstration by the nurses.
“The MOH understands that the issues surround demands for an apology from the Chief Medical Officer (CMO), to retract statements purported to have been made in the media and claims for payments under the Malaria Response Programme,” the release said.
Minister of Health, Rudyard Spencer, pointed out that the nurses are a part of the Essential Services, and requested the urgent intervention of the Labour Ministry.
“Any action by the public health nurses, given the already fragile situation as it relates to the nurses, may compromise patient care and we, therefore, seek the intervention of the Labour Ministry to resolve the matter,” Mr. Spencer explained.
Mr. Charles told JIS News that he would have wished for a meeting with the parties as early as Monday evening, but would be unable to get them together following his weekly Cabinet meeting. He said that he was seeking a meeting as early as 9 a.m. Tuesday, at his Ministry.
The NAJ wants an apology from Dr. Campbell Forrester for comments she reportedly made in the Sunday Gleaner that public health nurses were paid $1 billion for extra duties performed during a malaria outbreak in 2006. The report also claimed that nurses were paid even without handling a single case of malaria.
But, President of the NAJ, Mrs. Edith Allwood Anderson, has denied those claims, and has described them as disrespectful. She suggested that they were meant to tarnish the reputation of nurses.

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