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DNA president denies recruiting nurses for ‘finders fee’

by: - August 4, 2018
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Rosie Felix (file photo)

President of the Dominica Nurses Association has refuted claims that it is assisting or facilitating recruitment of nurses for regional and international jobs.

President of the Association, Nurse Rosie Felix said the executive is also concerned about the manner in which Health Minister, Dr. Kenneth Darroux referred to its leadership during the recent sitting of Parliament.

The statement, issued on Saturday 4 August 2018, is as follows;

Dominica Nurses Association Press Statement in response to accusatory and unsavory statements made by the
Honorable Minister of Health and Social Services Dr Kenneth Darroux and Mr Curtis John

August 4, 2018

The Executive of the Dominica Nurses Association (DNA) is disturbed about distasteful and false statements and accusations made about their organization, and more specifically its leadership, by the Honourable Minister of Health and Social Services – Dr Kenneth Darroux, in the Dominica Parliament on July 30, 2018.

In his contribution to the Annual National Budget, Dr Darroux accused the leadership of the Association of encouraging nurses to leave Dominica for overseas employment; he questioned the professional status of the DNA leadership stating that ‘their’ minds and hands are idle and went on to suggest what work ‘they’ should be engaged in. This is the second time the Minister has referred to the leadership of the DNA in unsavory and undignified terms.

The Association is equally disturbed about the social media statements by one, “Curtis John” on July 28, 2018. The post together with the photograph immediately below it, clearly identifies and accuses the President of the Association of, among other things, “actively recruiting nurses to send them to
England for a finder’s fee” and of constantly posting adverts “to recruit nurses in a nurses group”.

The statements in that post and by the Minister of Health which state or suggest that the DNA President and/or leadership:

(i) is recruiting nurses for employment in England or overseas;

(ii) doing so for a finder’s fee;

(iii) has posted adverts, constantly or at all, to recruit nurses in a nurses group;

(iv) is acting in any way that is harmful to the health sector of Dominica;

(v) is acting in any way as a traitor to her country;

are all false, unsubstantiated and baseless.

The DNA Executive, including its President, is shocked and totally denies that these statements or inferences were published at all, as neither the DNA Executive nor its President has had any contact, directly or indirectly, now or in the past, with any recruiting agency.

No nurse recruiting agency has made any contact with the Executive or its President with a view to soliciting their assistance in the recruitment of nurses. The DNA President categorically declares that she has never posted any link to any nurse recruiting agency on the Association’s facebook page, in nurses groups or on her personal facebook page.

For several years now, the Dominica Nurses Association has been advocating tirelessly for government to reverse the factors that trigger or contribute to nurses leaving the public service and thereby arrest the escalating nurse migration and health sector crisis.

Any action or attempt by the leadership of DNA to export or facilitate the export of nurses would not only be contradictory to the Association’s nurse retention efforts but would be a betrayal of our professionalism, patriotism and the citizens of Dominica.

In view of the above, the DNA Executive, including its President, requests that the Honourable Minister of Health – Dr Kenneth Darroux, Mr. Curtis John and any other person or group who may have engaged in publishing these or similar statements immediately refrain from further publication of these false, baseless and damaging statements. If these publications continue, the DNA Executive and/or its President will have no reasonable alternative other than to pursue legal action for redress.

In closing, our Association wishes to thank the Honourable Minister of Health for honoring his promise of a second 2017 uniform allowance to nurses in lieu of uniforms lost due to Hurricane Maria. The Association must however express its great disappointment that in his contribution to the Budget, the Minister made no
reference to salary scale upgrade for nurses.

It is time the Minister identifies and calls out the real recruiter of Dominica nurses for overseas employment; it is undoubtedly the unattractive conditions of work, which include very low salaries, workplace bullying, stretched human resource and unsafe and oppressive work environments. These conditions, not unsurprisingly, give our nurses no joy in work and no incentive to stay to care for our citizens. In fact, these conditions drive them away.

What is the Honourable Minister of Health and the Government of Dominica willing to do to encourage nurses to stay? Let’s be honest…… Let’s see…….

Rosie B Felix MMid, CM, RN
President