Health workers ask for early leave - Solomon Star News

Health workers ask for early leave

26 March 2020
Dickson Mua.

A GOOD number of nurses and doctors are currently applying to take their leave despite the imminent threat the coronavirus (COVID-19) has posed.

The situation has put a lot of pressure on the Minister and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS).

Minister Dickson Mua confirmed this to the Solomon Star on Wednesday, stating this may be due to fears amongst health workers of contracting the virus.

However, he said his Permanent Secretary is doing her best to deal with this issue because “we do not want any setback in this critical time”.

“Nurses and doctors are professionals and they know their trade very well and how to execute them in their respective fields.

“I only pray and hope that this virus will not affect us on a larger scale if it ever gets here,” Mua said.

A doctor spoken to, agreed with Mua’s sentiments.

 “The minister is right and the truth is we are not preparing on the ground when it comes to the safety of the medical professionals who will attend to any Covid-19 cases,” the doctor, who asked not to be named, said.

“At the moment, the nurses who dealt with a suspected Covid-19 case at Mbokona clinic have to be quarantined after their contact with the patient,” the doctor said.

Mua also confirmed that four nurses were in quarantine.

The doctor further stated the nurses were sent home after collecting samples from them because there is no Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) available and that the isolation room is yet to be functional.

“So the nurses and doctors will not risk their lives looking after the suspects or if we have positive cases,” the doctor said.

The doctor said that the government needs to act quickly and import more PPE and prepare the isolation area.