People's safety our top priority – Samoa Nurses Association

The head of the Samoa Nurses Association (SNA) has appealed to all the nurses to work with honesty and make the safety of the Samoan people their number one priority.

SNA president Solialofi Papalii made the appeal at their two-day annual general meeting (AGM) at the Ministry of Health at Moto’otua in Apia.

She said various matters including nursing officers' benefits were discussed in their meeting with more than 300 nurses attending the meeting last Thursday and Friday.

“One of the subjects that we talked about was the association going with the Public Service Commission after it has been in the private sector for 10 years.

“We discussed the retiree nurses receiving benefits, leaves and entitlements which were not given to them during the times in the private sector.

“Our AGM ran for two days and so during our meeting the PSC conducted a presentation on the laws and regulations of employees in terms of leaves, benefits, and entitlements and especially approximately three per cent of nurses are retirees,” she added.

Mrs. Papalii said there are more than 50 nurses who she knew were retirees but are still working in the frontlines, while highlighting the need for everyone to work together, if the merger between the Ministry of Health and the National Health Services should be successful. 

“And there are those that are more than 60 years of age who are still working. We also discussed the merge between the Ministry of Health and the National Health Services. For any change, it requires a great length of time to adapt, it has been 10 long years. 

"But this new change can never be effective if we do not work together, progress is made when everyone pushes towards the same direction, let us put aside our emotions and thoughts but put them into actions," she added.

It was a good opportunity for the participating nurses to air their concerns on matters that concerned them, said the SNA president. 

The immunization program was also on the agenda with Mrs. Papalii indicating that it was a topical issue during the conference. 

“We have resumed the vaccinations for the children because it was opposed due to how the process of how it was carried out by two nurses who were in charge.

“But now there is only one nurse to assess and conduct the vaccination but only when a child is sick then they are not permitted to undergo any vaccination but must be referred to a doctor," she said. 

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