Nurses to strike?

More than 5,000 contract nurses have threatened to go on strike if the government refuses to hire them as permanent staff.

The Cabinet on Tuesday rejected a proposal to add 10,992 positions to the civil-servant system.

Many working in state-run hospitals are working on low-pay and no civil service benefits.

The Temporary Employee Professional Nurse Network have started a campaign asking all temporary nurses to change their Facebook profile pictures to include a message that if they are not registered as civil servants, they will resign.

A major problem has arisen as there are 3 to 4 thousand new nurses every year but there are only around  1,000 positions available in the civil service system.

At the moment there are around 15,000 temporary nurses earning 10 to 13,000 bht , working 8 hour shifts which total 30 a month. They have no proper welfare or pay rises.

If the cabinet do not change their position, 5,000 will leave which will only aggravate an already serious shortage.

The May 9 Cabinet resolution on the proposal to increase civil-servant positions of the Public Health Ministry’s Permanent Secretary Office stated that the Cabinet had approved the increase of civil servants based on the report of the official workforce target and policy-setting committee.

The three main recommendations were to approve only 450 civil servant positions for hospitals in rural and border areas and forbid the Public Health Ministry from reserving more civil-servant positions for nurses until fiscal 2026.

This is a major problem for already over-worked and over-crowded hospitals and those of us from the UK will be very familiar with it, though the UK do not employ the system of temporary nurses like they do here.

There is no doubt that nurses all over the world fully deserve a decent salary and good welfare provisions as without them we’re all left in the proverbial you-know-what !

(Source:The Nation,Thailand)

By Juninho