Downtime crucial for those on the front line

Downtime crucial for those on the front line

Thursday, October 01, 2020

Print this page Email A Friend!


The threat of the novel coronavirus has led to many Jamaicans making choices that wouldn't even have been contemplated less than a year ago; like choosing to stay away from a favourite watering hole after work on a Friday afternoon; or opting for a drink alone, a long walk, or prayer, in memory of a good friend, rather than attend his/her funeral. Such are the strange circumstances in which people find themselves, not just in Jamaica, but everywhere, as a result of the dreadful virus.

In line with the recommendations of the health authorities, many people are taking extra care and staying away from danger as much as is possible.

But there are some for whom staying away from the line of fire is not an option.

We immediately think of our health workers and security force personnel, among others, who must be on the front line on a daily basis, pursuant to their sworn duty, no matter the threat posed by COVID-19.

For that reason, we are buoyed by news that the Government is to make an effort to ease the burden on health workers by proactively facilitating rest time, relaxation, counselling, etc, as well as employing additional staff.

The aim is to reduce the ever-present danger posed by stress brought on especially by the reality of the COVID-19 threat, overwork, and excessively long hours.

The initiatives announced by Minister of Health and Wellness Christopher Tufton include mandatory rest days for staff who work extremely long hours, mandatory 48-hour results for health workers tested for COVID-19, preferential rates in hotels, family support and counselling for those impacted by the virus, etc.

Says Dr Tufton: “We've... been experiencing significant and increasing burnout of the critical front-line workers, primarily the healthcare staff, but not exclusive to them. These are individuals who have been working at this for many hours each day since the start of this year. It has been an ongoing effort and a very stressful environment to work in, and we're seeing increasing evidence of burnout...”

We are told that the project will cost $75 million over two years. Hopefully that will be sufficient, given the partnerships with the private sector, including hoteliers, etc.

This newspaper recognises that cost is always a major hurdle, but we believe this project to ease the burden on health workers could also be extended to the security forces who must deal with the scourge of crime.

Very importantly, Dr Tufton tells us that increased efforts are being made to heighten public health staff numbers, which is no doubt the best way to ease the burden on those currently employed.

In addition to expanding the public health sector by employing more graduates of the various training institutions, the minister said more personnel support will be sought from neighbouring Cuba.

We applaud the efforts to ease the burden for those who have no choice but to be at the front of the battle.


Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at http://bit.ly/epaper-login


ADVERTISEMENT




POST A COMMENT

HOUSE RULES

1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy



comments powered by Disqus
ADVERTISEMENT

Poll

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon
ADVERTISEMENT