-as they took protest to the streets
Nurses attached to the Linden Hospital Complex (LHC), have now taken their protest to the streets, as they peacefully marched from the Linden Hospital Complex (LHC) to the Georgetown/Mackenzie bus park, chanting ‘Wicked Rudy must go!” and “We demand respect!”, in an effort to garner public support for the struggle.
They vowed to not give up and will be taking the protest to Ministry of Health Head Office, if their request to not remove Chief Executive Officer Rudy Small, has not been met.
The nurses said that their struggle is more than Small’s utterances, but against the conditions they are forced to work under and the limited incentives received during the pandemic; more so that two budgets were read and no increases were announced for public servants. On Thursday, they also called out the Matron for not representing them or engaging them on challenges they are facing in the workplace, when it is requested.
Lack of drugs and medical supplies were top on the nurses’ list and they affirmed that they refuse to work under duress any further. “The Ministry of Health is claiming that they cannot negotiate with our union under duress, well we cannot work under duress; so for as long as the CEO is there, as long as the hospital is out of vital resources, as longs as public servant nurses do not get their rightful increases and incentives, we will not go back to work,” one nurse affirmed to loud applause.
She alluded to a situation on Wednesday, when an accident victim was rushed to the Accident and Emergency Unit and there were absolutely no drugs to administer to her. “The Emergency Department had absolutely no medication to give to the patient, she was just there, waiting until she breathes her last breath ………this is a sad reality that us nurses are working under for a very long time but our CEO and our Matron cannot address those issues,” one nurse said
“CEO has time to watch-man other people’s personal affairs but he is not addressing the fact that the hospital has been at a lack of resources for as long as anyone of us can remember,” she added.
The nurses said they continuously tried to approach the Matron about the situation and she has not availed herself for the meeting. “‘When we ask to get a meeting with her, she said she is unavailable to speak to us. She is supposed to be representing us; Matron do not care about us,” one nurse said.
Leading the protest was Industrial Relations Officer of the Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU_, Maurice Butters, who urged the nurses not to give up the fight and that the GPSU will continue to support them. “At this time, we are not going to allow someone to enter into the scene and cause disrespect to our nurses and not only nurses for me, it is disrespect to all female employees. We cannot allow a man, who is suppose to be an icon in our eyes as an executive officer to be behaving like that,” he said. He called on the Ministry of Health to listen to the nurses’ cries and remove the CEO once and for all from the hospital.