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Overtime Approvals, New Shifts For Nurses A Big Plus For Health Sector

"There are staff shortages that entail some health workers to stay longer hours at work,” he said.
31 Aug 2022 09:15
Overtime Approvals, New Shifts For Nurses A Big Plus For Health Sector
Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary Dr. James Fong. Photo: Ronald Kumar.

Dr James Fong says the timely and adequate approval of overtime for nurses will assist them to accommodate resigning nurses.

So far 518 nurses had resigned from the service since 2017 to July this year because of better offers to work overseas in the health sector.

The Permanent Secretary for Health and Medical Services said most of their health facilities had resorted to a 12-hour shift in which nurses work for seven days and are entitled to days off for the next seven days in a fortnightly cycle.

 

Dr Fong said nurses were provided opportunities to work on their days off and get paid extra.

“There are staff shortages that entail some health workers to stay longer hours at work,” he said.

The Permanent Secretary commended Government for reinstating the overtime pay for nurses.

The ministry is doing a lot of emergency surgeries with eight operating theatres working at the Colonial War Memorial (CWM) Hospital in Suva.

 

Dr Fong said this was done to cater for the backlog of these surgeries previously impacted by the movement and service limitation by the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said their clinicians continue to track those patients in the backlog list for surgeries, however, he understood that in some cases their communication intentions might have been less ideal.

“The clinicians are working on continuing to improve in this area,” he said.

 

According to a survey conducted by the ministry, a vast majority of nurses in Labasa and Lautoka preferred the 12-hour shift.

This was more advantageous for the staff because they had a reasonable number of continuous days offs after their long shifts.

Dr Fong said they were in the process of appointing new nurses to fill in the 255 vacant positions left behind by the resigning nurses.

 

Feedback: sampras.anand@fijisun.com.fj



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