Health and care workers, especially nurses, have faced extreme stress and trauma, brought on not just by the pandemic but also due to the already existing flawed health systems across countries. To truly build resilient national health systems, governments need to secure and protect the interests of the workforce. Your struggles towards this have led to several gains along the way, one of which is the ILO report of the Committee of Experts on the Application of Standards arising from the General Survey: Securing decent work for nursing personnel.
Many of you had contributed to the ILO General Survey conducted in 2021. Based on your work on the survey, we made several submissions to the ILO highlighting the plight of nursing personnel in the region including a lack of mandated staff to patient ratios, low wages that often are below living wages, acute shortage of workforce, long working hours, frequent incidents of violence and harassment at workplace and a lack of decent working conditions among other concerns.
The ILO report cites submissions made by PSI and our affiliates, 57 times to highlight the situation of health and care workers in the region and across the world. Your contribution to the survey has led to the ILO to take note of the systemic denial of labour rights to the nursing workforce. And has made it clear that quality health services cannot be achieved without a secure and protected health workforce.
Now is the time to call on governments to listen to your concerns and work together in shaping a national policy that protects the interests of the large number of nursing workforce in your country!
What you can do
On International Nurses Day, we would like to hear your thoughts on using this day to make your voices heard. We have a few suggestions on possible actions. These include:
A letter to your government on social dialogue on the C149 provisions: We have drafted a model letter that you can use to send to your government demanding a meeting to dialogue on the application of the ILO instruments C149 and R157 on securing decent work for nursing personnel. The letter template includes space to add comments that are specific to your country situation. Please use that space to add any specific information/concern that you want to flag to your ministers in this space. Download the PSI model letter template
Publish an opinion piece on the situation of nursing personnel in your country, the gaps in national policies to address concerns of the workforce: PSI can support the drafting of this piece.
A press conference to share the plight of nurses in your country.
Social media actions-this can include poster campaigns and/or twitter actions. Download the PSI poster template (PowerPoint)
Please share with us any other ideas that you have on actions for the 12th of May by not later than Monday, 17 April 2023. PSI will support you to build on the actions.
This is a great opportunity to push your governments to finally go beyond empty applause and give nursing personnel their dues!