Nurses opt to work 12-hour shifts, claims Vudiniabola

A nurse prepares a dose of the COVID-119 vaccine at a vaccination campaign in Navua. Picture: FT FILE

Some nurses have opted to work 12-hour shifts because there are not enough nurses to go around the eight-hour shift roster, claims Fiji Nursing Association president Doctor Alisi Vudiniabola.

She claimed despite the Ministry of Health and Medical Services stopping the 12-hour shift late last year, nurses had opted otherwise in the interest of patients.

“The least the Government should have done was to provide the required restrooms, a bed or couch for the nurses,” she said.

“Refreshments and meals or meal allowances should also be provided.

“But no, some nurses were told by their bosses to sign their undertaking that they will not claim any meals or allowances because it’s their choice to do the 12-hour shifts. How inhumane is this?”

Dr Vudiniabola said some nurses had pending leave of over 20 to 30 days for the past two years and were now advised via a circular that they would lose their leave and couldn’t take it across this year.

“If they cannot allow staff to take their leave, then at least pay them their leave.

“If this kind of work environment is not enough to give you stress and headache every day, then our nurses must be super robots who just work and work until their batteries get burnt out and they just fall flat on their faces.”

Health Ministry permanent secretary Dr James Fong said they had always acknowledged all frontliners in their comments.

He said the ministry allowed pending leave to be carried forward into the new contract year.

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