Nurses under the aegis of University Graduates of Nursing Science Association (UGONSA) in a joint statement by its National President, Chief (Hon.) S.E.O. Egwuenu and National Secretary, Nurse G.I. Nshi, have shown their displeasure and discontentment over the defamatory online video shared on the twitter page of Consumer Protection Council (CPC) as they launched the Patients’ Bills of Rights (PBOR) on 31st of July, 2018. The association said the Patient Bill of Rights was a welcome development and should have been enacted long ago and also that Nurses appreciate and strongly support it as they have always done with anything beneficial to the patient.
However, the association took strong exception to the derogatory animated video posted by the CPC that casted unwarranted aspersions on image of nurses in its launch of the PBOR.
The statement read, “We wish to inform the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbanjo, and the CPC that the derogatory animated video that accompanied launch of the PBOR as shared in their twitter handle does not and can never be a representation of the articulate and hardworking Nigeria nurses but rather a representation of the idiocy of those that made the post.
“Nigerian nurses despite working under unsafe staffing environment in Nigeria where one nurses is made to care for more than 20 patients per shift as against the recommended maximum of one nurse to five patients have, against all odds, lived up to expectation in promoting health, restoring health, preventing illness and alleviating the sufferings of Nigerians.
“It is height of hypocrisy for those that have refused to use the power entrusted to them by Nigerians to better the lots of our health sector, as evidenced by their abandoning of our health sector to rot as they and their families embark on incessant trips abroad for medical treatment, to turn around and blame the hardworking nurses who on a daily basis make uncountable sacrifices to keep our sinking health sector afloat as the reason for the poor state of our health sector.
“UGONSA wishes to make it very clear to Prof. Osibanjo and CPC that nurses are not Hospital accountants or money keepers and do not demand for or collect money from patients and we challenge the vice president and the CPC to name one hospital in Nigeria where nurses are the hospital accountants. The content of the video from CPC clearly shows that those working at the CPC are unlettered and incompetent and therefore not qualified to work in such a highly revered agency. If not they should have been abreast of the simple fact that the scope of professional roles of a nurse as a holistic caregiver, a patient advocate, a clinical teacher, a communicator, an instructor, a specialist and a researcher does not include accounting and money keeping.
“Nigerian nurses remain the best globally. That is why progressive economies (where our political elites, including those that made the provocative video, rush to for medical treatment) such as the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, United Arab Emirate, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and so on, fall over themselves in a struggle to recruit Nigerian nurses. This is well buttressed by the report that between May 2017 to May 2018, more than 800 nurses left the shores of this country for countries where their services are appreciated unlike in Nigeria where they are dehumanized, poorly paid and defamed.
“We verily demand that Prof. Osibanjo and the CPC take down the video immediately and apologize to Nigerian Nurses.
“This Government seems to derive joy from traumatizing nurses and trivializing the health of Nigerians. First they withheld the salaries of the Midwives running the defunct Midwifery Service Scheme (MSS) and killed the MSS programme which has been the most accessible Maternal and Child Health programme available to the poorest of Nigerian women and children living in the most remote parts of the country. Next, they seized the salaries of Nurses and other JOHESU (Joint Health Sector Union) members for embarking on strike following the failure of the government to honour its own agreement which it freely entered with JOHESU. Paradoxically, they never meted such ill treatment done to nurses and other health workers to others that also embarked on strike e.g. the academic staff and non-academic staff unions of universities (ASUU and NASU), and the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD).Thirdly, they refused to place graduate nurses at par with their counterparts in other healthcare professions who they share similar entry requirements and course duration for the first degree in the university with. Now they have elevated rascality to a new valour of governance by blaming and castigating nurses for their own failure to revitalize our health sector via their misguided animated video. Nurses will not take it anymore!
“As UGONSA charges nurses to go about their legitimate duties not minding this unwarranted provocation from those who have clearly demonstrated that they have poor sense of reasoning, we charge them to get their Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) and mobilize their relatives for same ready for 2019 elections and wait for directives from the association as failure to pay up the withheld monies and also apologize for this stupid attack shall never go unpunished- the association said.