President of the TT Registered Nurses Association Idi Stuart has said if the concerns of nurses dealing with covid19 patients are not addressed by Friday, nurses will be advised to take action to safeguard their own lives.
He told Newsday, the association is calling for: all nurses who were in direct contact with suspected or confirmed covid19 patients without wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) to be tested; all nurses who dealt with suspected or confirmed covid19 patients to be quarantined; and hazard insurance and death benefit for nurses who contract, and die from, covid19 in the course of their work. Stuart pointed out that there is currently no hazard benefit for healthcare workers who deal with potentially fatal infectious or contagious diseases.
He said despite assurances of adequate PPE, nurses were told they did not need PPE to deal with suspected cases.
Stuart explained that nurses believed the RHAs were at a preparation stage, but they have already been accepting and housing patients for an extended period – including one at the Sangre Grande regional hospital.