COMMENT: Govt, health workers should find each other

31 Jul, 2020 - 00:07 0 Views
COMMENT: Govt, health workers should find each other


Amid deep pangs of despair, a ray of hope could be the fresh air that one’s soul needs.

We have endured bitter days in this country but we believe things will get better regardless of the reality of being billeted against a relentless Covid-19 whose offensive has surely put a dark cloud over our land, as with other parts of the world.

While we are cognisant of the global nature of this monstrous attacker gnawing at our very heart and soul, we believe amid the petrified muffles of disbelief could still be heard some hopeful humming.

We refer here to the impasse in the health sector that has dragged on for about two months now with our health institutions now giving in under the weight of understaffing and resource constraints.

The gloom that encompasses the world is rigidly palpable but this week saw hope filtering through amid reports of giant strides in research towards the production of a Covid-19 vaccine, with Russia and the United States among the states that are headed in that direction. This is the sort of news that can cheer up people under lockdown, people facing real fears of disease, lost schooling, lost incomes, economic difficulties, staring death in the face but hoping for a miracle just in time.

We believe that Government and health workers need to find each other and do so very fast. There is no denying that the impasse over salaries and working conditions at public hospitals is taking its toll even on the few remaining nurses, what with the high number of infections among health staff. We believe that hospitals are our last line of defence and the high numbers of health workers contracting the virus at a time when many others have withdrawn their labour does not give much hope to the generality of the population that is staying at home.

We believe resolving disputes so that we start the process of strengthening our health system in time for our peak period for infections cannot be avoided, and it is now a matter of life and death, and many people have been affected by these challenges at hospitals. We believe that we need to replace fear that is gripping the country regarding the rising cases of Covid-19, and deaths, with hope that we could win the war by reaching a consensus on how our health system should be configured and shock-proofed going forward so that we do not slide into dejection. It is our hope that the lockdown fatigue some citizens have been exhibiting is not a spill-over of fears of what might confront us at health institutions if the employer-employee dispute is not resolved soon.

Hope is all we yearn for, to be able to reconcile with our conscience, and bequeath even to posterity, the best fight we possibly could against Covid-19, and even other evolving health challenges.

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