COMMUNITY Health Aides, Health Attendants and Health Assistants met Tuesday with representatives of the Ministry of Health to air their concerns about a number of issues that have been occurring at health centres throughout the country.
The meeting, in the conference room of the Ministry of health, was also attended by Health Minister Mary Isaac and officials of the National Workers Union (NWU).
The Deputy President General of the NWU, Solace Myers, disclosed that the concerns of the health care workers relate to job descriptions, basic communication and pay schedules which they wanted addressed.
“We have held a number of meetings with the Ministry of Health and we are at a point right now where we thought it necessary to bring the affected parties together, so the powers that be can actually get a good sense and a general idea from the actual people who do the work and see how best we can address all the issues,” Myers stated.
The NWU official described the meeting as very productive and helpful and disclosed that ministry officials were very receptive and listened to the concerns of the health care workers.
Myers said the NWU was “very hopeful” that in the coming weeks there would be a resolution to a lot of the issues of concern.
“We are dealing with a sector that is very important. It is an essential service and all hands need to be on deck when we deal with the health of the nation.”
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Felix St Hill, explained that some of the problems should have been resolved a long time ago.
“In the course of performing management functions you usually get these staffing problems that you have to attend to without letting them fester and get out of hand,” St Hill stated.
He gave the commitment that efforts will be made to address the problems very soon.
”Sometimes you have a disconnect between senior management, middle management and even the lower ranks of management and the fact that sometimes as people assume the role of management, they really need some training with regard to how you perform those management roles.
“So, while you may have countless years of experience as a nurse, you may not have that experience as a manager,” he said, in response to questions about why the problems had persisted for so long.