Friday, 10 July 2009

Argentinian Nurses Protest Against Swine Flu Deaths!

It's good to see some working class people fight back against the accepted spin that it doesn't matter too much if ordinary people die of swine flu, because they probably had underlying conditions. Where are the masks, aprons and gloves? Why was holding an election more important than protecting people's health?

Maybe the courageous actions of these nurses in organising a protest will cause people to reflect on gendered assumptions about "women's" work. Being a nurse is every bit as dangerous as being a policeman or a fireman. There are a lot of dangerous infectious diseases out there, even if the shift work doesn't kill you. Nurses need higher educational and professional qualifications to practice, than police officers or the fire service. But it is MUCH worse paid.

Nursing prof. fatalities: protest march planned
Source: translation:Argentina: March to the Ministry of Health for the death of nurses who are victims of influenza A2 reported the death of health professionals by the pandemic and the spread of at least 50% of total trabajadorxs area. In the Posadas Hospital, they say, there are 100 with the H1N1 virusWalsh Agency For the Kaos Network Today 18:38 [Buenos Aires July 10, 2009PRESS RELEASEThe Association of Nursing convenes November 21:On Wednesday, July 15, at 16 hours, to act on the doors of the Ministry of Health and Welfare's Office to deliver a note to express our Minister Juan Manzur grief and outrage at the death of fellow nurses as a result of infection of Influenza A while working ... and claim:Safe working conditionsAppointments and re-payART coverage by health workers and patients who died of influenza ALetter to Minister of HealthDr. Juan ManzurWe are writing to you in our capacity as Maker of Health fighters in the trenches that the community is against the current trenches Pandemia.Esas care centers are hospitals, clinics and other health effectors.Developments in recent days, we say that there has been no approach to the workers or the Ministry in charge of the national government nor the nurses organized in different unions, associations and groups.As it has recognized the President, Nursing is a critical resource within the health system.It is true that over the past year, bringing a project to train new nurses, we can say that so far more in these days of a pandemic, since government policies, whether by action or omission was leaving the nurses to their fate.We're already counting deceased colleagues, working in various hospitals and nursing colleagues placed in intensive care with serious prognosis.We know that at least 100 Alejandro Posadas Hospital nurses are sick of the Influenza A, many of them complicated by pneumonia.For studies by the CDC in the U.S., we know that 50% of health workers in this country who treated patients were infected with Influenza A and the highest percentage corresponds to nurses, but there has not reported any health worker died from the pandemic.We believe that since you directed the Ministry, should take urgent measures to prevent a tragedy among health workers and especially among nurses.Labor laws are clear regarding the protection of workers and for the employer's obligation on the health workforce.What is contradictory and even immoral, is that these laws are not met in health centers and leave the nurses and other health workers to their fate.The death of two of our colleagues: Paula Ayala Hospital Evita Pueblo de Berazategui BaldaƱo Patricia and Maria Ferrer Hospital in the city of Buenos Aires reveals that the risk to undergo nurses every day. We affirm that in this crisis also persist poor working conditions of nurses.We urge health authorities to put an emphasis on personal care as stressed by the ILO Convention 149, and the recommendations of the International Council of Nursing, so male and female nurses should be considered high risk population in the pandemic.Nursing is a profession that cares irreplaceable human beings at all stages in all biological and social and personal situations. Intervention in the hospital to verify the health care work environment, and control of bio-elements, will not only improve their quality of life but that of the inhabitants.The signatories of this document, we urge you and through you to assume that:1. Declare the health emergency throughout the national territory.2. Funds are available to address the appointment of nurses throughout the country regardless of their jurisdiction and taking into account the historical personnel shortage and the exponential growth in demand that had originated in the social crisis deepened in recent years with the emergence of this new epidemic. Another factor that may increase the deficit and therefore must be seen in the incorporation of staff is given to those health workers who may be affected directly with positive cases. The nursing staff should be moved to permanent staff, no precarious contracts with limited time and scholarship system in the country.3. Be paid on an exceptional basis and for the duration of the Emergency Health, the highest percentage insalubrity additional 40% of basic pay for all nurses who are in the direct care of patients affected by the Influenza A H1N1. Given the inevitability of risk by working with a disease with high virulence and characterized as infectious.4. Create Crisis Committee of Workers, including nurses in them.5. Is recognized as an occupational disease to the Influenza A H1N1 among workers nurses and other workers who care for patients in all jurisdictions in the country, adding to the Influenza A H1N1 to the list of occupational diseases.6. Assume that the ART treatment of fellow nurses sick, completely taking charge of them.7. Regulating the supply of workers from nurses working clothes within institutions. Be given a "both" for each nurse to take a watch and leave it in the institution to withdraw the same as in the operating room. This measure prevents the staff do not carry H1N1 to your home. It is noteworthy, for example, that the Hospital Posadas, which is a national reference point in addressing this condition, the nursing staff is both the contaminated you.8. Regulating the immediate construction of changing rooms in hospitals with showers with hot water for staff to sanitize before putting the "clothes" to go to their home. It should be noted, for example, that the Hospital Posadas no showers or changing facilities for staff.We believe that these proposals must be implemented by the Argentine courts in all its national, provincial and municipal, as well as employers of private and Social Security is the responsibility of the National Government is responsible for meeting these objectives.


  1. Alberta Nurses Union complains about lack of fit testing


    Only about 1/3 of nurses are fit tested.;20A%20%20H1N1

    Government and Health Care
    Employers still in Denial

    On July 6, 2009 Alberta Health announced that there are now 1,098 confirmed cases of H1N1 influenza virus in Alberta. There were 27 new cases confirmed since July 3, 2009.

    Some time ago Alberta Health issued guidance advising physician not to test for H1N1 unless the individual had a pre-existing medical condition that could put them at risk of complications or the patient had a severe symptoms. Therefore, these numbers do not provide an accurate picture of the number of cases nor the spread of the virus in Alberta.

    Today the World Health Organization reported 94,512 cases with 47 deaths. In a July 3, 2007 update Public Health Agency of Canada announced that there were 8,883 confirmed cases in Canada including 663 hospitalizations and 29 deaths.

    In an Edmonton Journal article Dr Mark Joffe, Infectious Disease Specialist, called the current outbreak “the most important” health care event in the last forty years. Dr. Joffe stated that H1N1 infections were starting to impact health services including hospitals and intensive care units. He confirmed that the number of infections and the number of people admitted to hospitals is increasing.

    However, despite the increase in confirmed cases of the virus and hospitalization nurses continue to be told by their employers that surgical masks provide effective protection against infection with the H1N1 virus.

    This is simply not true. This advise is based on an assumption that the virus is transmitted by droplet only. This same assumption was made during the SARS outbreak and directly lead to workplace related infections and in some instances the deaths of health care workers in Ontario.

    Nurses need to be vigilant in protecting themselves and their family from infection. Insist on having the appropriate personal protective equipment (N95 respirator mask, gloves, gown & eye protection) available for use when providing care to patients, residents and clients with suspected or confirmed H1N1 virus infections.

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