admin's picture


Fiji Times Suva, Fiji Islands

May 15, 2000


There was nationwide relief when the nurses called off their strike yesterday.

Services at hospitals and health centers returned to normal last night and are expected to continue that way.

The 70-hour strike put immense pressure on doctors and the nurses who stayed at work for personal or religious reasons.

Volunteer workers -- many untrained for their tasks -- turned out to help. Their assistance gave some respite to the volunteers and the private doctors who helped out in the emergency health centers.

At most strike sites a number of protesting nurses were appointed each day to provide emergency services for their colleagues who continued to work.

Fortunately there was no disaster during the three-day period.

It would have severely tested the makeshift contingency plans put together by the Health Ministry.

There is no doubt that there would have been unnecessary fatalities if this had happened.

For the pressure on the skeleton staff would have been too much and mistakes, in the end, would have crept in.

The public will rest assured now that it is safe once again to take the sick and injured to hospitals and health centers.

Hopefully the nurses will return to work on time and get on with their tasks in the usual efficient manner.

There is no room for victimization of those who went on strike, nor is there call for the protesting workers to goad their colleagues who did not join the protest.

Vindictiveness and victimization will serve only to bring hurt and bitterness to a dispute which has been settled relatively amicably.

The nurses have what they want and should be thankful.

They should also be thankful for the public support and sympathy afforded them over the recent months.

This should be manifested in more efficient and courteous service. The Government weathered what otherwise could have been a long, drawn-out and bitter strike.

It must now honor the Permanent Arbitrator's ruling, pay the nurses on time and -- in doing so -- settle the dispute once and for all.

But both sides must remember this. If each had made a more concerted effort towards dialogue at an earlier stage the strike would not have been necessary.

For additional reports from the Fiji Times, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/Fiji Times.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet

Add new comment