Nurses petition emerges

Nurses and midwives are calling on the Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi, to maintain the Nursing and Midwifery division under the Ministry of Health (M.O.H.) and National Health Services (N.H.S.) merge structure. 

The call is revealed in a petition signed by the nurses of Samoa.

A copy of the petition has been leaked to the Sunday Samoan.

The petition calls for the Division of Nursing and Midwifery to be kept under a nurse appointed at the Deputy Director General level in the proposed structure of the new health care merge.   

The petition is dated 6 March 2018.

The Sunday Samoan understands that as of yesterday afternoon, more than 50 signatures are on the petition. 

“We, the undersigned nurses serving in the national health care system of our country and supporters of the principles, we propose, appeal to you, beseeching and seeking your support as Prime Minister, as well as the support of our Government, for continued recognition and acknowledgement of the leadership function and role of nurses in the national health care system of our country,” the petition reads. 

“We ask that our leadership function and role be maintained by retaining the Division of Nursing and Midwifery led by a nurse appointed at the Deputy Director General level in the proposed structure of the new health care entity that the M.O.H. and N.H.S. are being merged into.” 

According to the petition, the Interim Committee, tasked with establishing an entity that merges the N.H.S. and the M.O.H. through policy direction and providing health care services for our country, have proposed a management structure that divests any leadership role for nursing and midwifery as well as the Nursing and Midwifery Division. 

“Nursing and midwifery personnel constitute the largest single group of health care professionals in the health care system and are responsible for delivering the bulk of services required and demanded in the health of our people. 

“However, we have not been properly consulted and have been given minimal opportunity to contribute to the proposed structure of the merger. 

 “The importance of the function and role of nursing and midwifery in our country’s health care system has been highlighted by the continued existence of a Nursing and Midwifery Division operating nationally and headed, prior to 1969, by the Nursing Superintendent, then by a Director of Nursing from 1981, then by an A.C.E.O. of Nursing and Midwifery Services in 2004 and in 2006 the positions were titled Manager Nursing and Midwifery Services. 

 “The World Health Organisation acknowledges and declares that to strengthen and improve the delivery of national health care requires the development and strengthening of the contribution of nurses, especially their involvement and capacity to lead and influence policy development, planning and strengthening of the health care system.” 

The petition further says the nursing and midwifery personnel in Samoa’s national health care system fully supports Government’s initiative to reform, improve the effective and efficient delivery of national health care to its entire people. 

It further reiterates that in pursuing these objectives, it is vital to obtain the leadership, support and contribution of nursing and midwifery personnel. 

 “Enclosed for your information and consideration to further support our humble petition are:

(a) The position paper by the Nursing and Midwifery personnel serving in our national health care institutions that support the Nursing and Midwifery Division being kept and led by a Nurse under the new entity and management structure; 

(b) The structural proposal for the Nursing and Midwifery Division with its Deputy Director Nurse leader encompassed into the structural proposal from the Interim Committee – i) the structural proposal for Nursing in Savaii, ii) the structural proposal for Nursing in Upolu iii) the structural proposal for Nursing at the Tupua Tamasese Meaole Hospital and iv) the structural proposal for Nursing at the Regulation and Policy M.O.H.;

(c) The proposed functional structure and job description for the Management Nursing Positions in the new structure; and 

(d) The budgetary proposal for the proposed and vacant positions in the new structure.”

Petition explains: “The nurses and midwifery believe these proposals will assist the Government, the new entity and all who will operate under it to deliver effective and efficient health care services for our people which are the paramount objective of us nurses, our Government and all health care professionals in this restricting initiative.”

Others copied on the petition are Minister of Health, Tuitama Dr. Leao Tuitama, Director General for the Ministry of Health, Leausa Dr. Take Naseri, N.H.S. General Manager, Palanitina Tupuimatagi Toelupe, Attorney General, Lemalu Hermann Retzlaff, Minister of Finance, Sili Epa Tuioti, Minister of Public Enterprises, Lautafi Selafi Purcell and C.E.O's, Lavea Iulai Lavea and Elita Tooala. 

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