Health News of 2013-12-20

Health authorities to sanction nurses, midwives

Nurses and midwives who display poor attitude towards patients will be sanctioned by health authorities, the Chief Nurse and Midwifery Officer, Mr George Kumi Kyeremeh, has warned.

He said nurses and midwives who exhibited poor attitudes would be suspended, while those found to have seriously breached their code of conduct would have their licences withdrawn.

Mr Kyeremeh noted that the attitude of some nurses and midwives had become a major challenge in the healthcare delivery service and also sunk the image of the profession.

“We cannot allow the few bad nuts to continue to drag the name of the noble profession in the mud. It must stop. Enough is enough,” he stated.

Consequently, he said, the authorities, including the Ghana Health Service, the Nursing and Midwifery Council, nurses and midwives associations, were going to apply the code of conduct and sanction any member who went contrary to it.

The conference

Mr Kyeremeh was speaking at the opening ceremony of a three-day Senior Nursing and Midwifery Managers Conference in Accra last Tuesday on the theme, “Compassionate health care: The role of the nurse and midwifery manager”.

The conference is an annual event intended to review the mandate of nurses and midwives, identify gaps and explore innovative ways to improve on their services.

There is an increasing public outcry against some nurses who exhibit poor attitudes towards clients and patients at health facilities.

Consequently, this year’s conference sought to address the eroding compassion of nurses and midwives in the country.

According to Mr Kyeremeh, the quality of health care was a right for the people, hence the attitude by the nurses and midwives was no longer going to be tolerated.

Urgent solutions

In his address, the Deputy Minister of Health, Dr Alfred Tia Sugri, said there was an urgent need for leadership to identify the root causes of the erosion of compassion among nurses and midwives to address the problem.

“Compassionate health care is the root and life wire for nursing and midwifery practice. It is rather unfortunate that such an important ingredient is gradually being eroded from your practice, making care mechanical and devoid of human touch,” he stated.

He charged all health facilities to re-engineer their patient information systems to ensure that a 24-hour call centre was instituted for clients and patients to register their complaints.

Dr Sugri added that staff identification in the various hospitals should be enforced so that staff could be identified by their names.

Commendation

However, he commended the nurses and midwives for their sacrifices in rendering quality service, especially in the remotest parts of the country, in the midst of the challenges.

The Director General of the Ghana Health Service, Dr Ebenezer Appiah- Denkyira, urged the nurses and midwives to revive the passion and compassion of the profession.