Nurses march for better conditions

Gisborne nurses take part in nationwide Nurse Florence protest campaign.

Gisborne nurses take part in nationwide Nurse Florence protest campaign.

Gisborne nurses were well supported by the public when they marched during the weekend for better pay and staff-to-patient ratios and to be able to work in wards where they could care equally for all patients and ensure they were getting the best care. Picture by Paul Rickard

Safer staffing and better pay was the message from Gisborne nurses who marched from the railway station to Kelvin Park on Saturday — part of the nationwide Nurse Florence protest campaign for better work conditions.

Nurses were disappointed to be told they were not allowed to chant because of road management issues, but marched into the city with their placards after listening to an address from Hauora Tairawhiti board member Meredith Akuhata-Brown, who told nurses she was present “in solidarity”.

The Gisborne march organiser said local nurses “are making a statement and supporting the Nurse Florence movement’’.

Understaffed nurses, dangerous working conditions and underfunding could not bring the public the best possible heath care.

“We are now limited to completing the bare minimum due to how understaffed areas of health care are.

“We are nurses and we want the best for our patients. Right now, we are not able to do this.

“We have had enough of dangerous work environments.”

Ms Akuhata-Brown said she had benefited from the professionalism of nurses ever since her premature birth.

“I value the role of nurses.

“We understand the challenges that nurses face.”

Ms Akuhata-Brown told the Herald she was present as “a citizen”.

In her address, she said nurses wanted to be supported.

Nurses wanted better staff-to-patient ratios and to be able to work in wards where they could care equally for all patients and ensure they were getting the best care.

“So, how about you, Jacinda Ardern, can you hear us?

“Are you watching us (Health Minister) David Clark?

“How about you (associate Health Minister) Julie Anne Genter, have you been listening?”

Safer staffing and better pay was the message from Gisborne nurses who marched from the railway station to Kelvin Park on Saturday — part of the nationwide Nurse Florence protest campaign for better work conditions.

Nurses were disappointed to be told they were not allowed to chant because of road management issues, but marched into the city with their placards after listening to an address from Hauora Tairawhiti board member Meredith Akuhata-Brown, who told nurses she was present “in solidarity”.

The Gisborne march organiser said local nurses “are making a statement and supporting the Nurse Florence movement’’.

Understaffed nurses, dangerous working conditions and underfunding could not bring the public the best possible heath care.

“We are now limited to completing the bare minimum due to how understaffed areas of health care are.

“We are nurses and we want the best for our patients. Right now, we are not able to do this.

“We have had enough of dangerous work environments.”

Ms Akuhata-Brown said she had benefited from the professionalism of nurses ever since her premature birth.

“I value the role of nurses.

“We understand the challenges that nurses face.”

Ms Akuhata-Brown told the Herald she was present as “a citizen”.

In her address, she said nurses wanted to be supported.

Nurses wanted better staff-to-patient ratios and to be able to work in wards where they could care equally for all patients and ensure they were getting the best care.

“So, how about you, Jacinda Ardern, can you hear us?

“Are you watching us (Health Minister) David Clark?

“How about you (associate Health Minister) Julie Anne Genter, have you been listening?”

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