MONTEGO BAY, St James – Edith Allwood-Anderson, president of the Nurses’ Association of Jamaica (NAJ), yesterday sought to unite the profession at a service to mark the beginning of National Nurses Week.
“…The writing is clear on the wall for all those nurses who are weighted in the balance and found wanting. This week, you are called upon to return to the fold of nursing. The olive branch is extended to you; you can either receive it or refuse. It is your call,” Allwood-Anderson said, at the Calvary Baptist Church in Montego Bay.
She didn’t call any names, but it was obvious that the invitation was to the Jamaica Association of Nurse Anaesthetists (JANA) and the Jamaica Association of Nurse Practitioners (JANP), who split from the NAJ last
month over a reclassification proposal that they said would demote their members.
JANA and JNAP charged that the NAJ’s proposal was indicative of professional jealousy, but Allwood-Anderson dismissed the claims, pointing out that the idea of demotion was all in their minds.
Allwood-Anderson, who has been president of the NAJ since 2005, is currently the matron /director of nursing services at the island’s largest hospital, the Kingston Public Hospital.
Lyttleton “Tanny” Shirely, chairman of the Southeast Regional Health Authority (SERHA), reiterated the call in his message to the profession.
“This is the time to light your candle,” he said in a borrowed reference the quip issued by Edward Seaga, the retired leader of the then opposition Jamaica Labour Party to estranged dissidents in the early ’90s.
– Pat Roxborough-Wright