INMO sends bests wishes to all nurses on International Nurses Day, Today - May 12
The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) sends best wishes to all its members, and indeed nurses all over the world today, on International Nurses Day which is celebrated every year on May 12, the anniversary of Florence Nightingale's birth. The theme chosen by the International Council of Nurses (ICN) for this year is “Nurses: A Voice to Lead - Health is a Human Right.”
The International Council of Nurses (ICN), of which the INMO has been a member since 1925, is a federation of more than 130 national nursing associations representing more than 16 million nurses worldwide. ICN President, and former Director of the INMO’s Professional Development Centre, Annette Kennedy, said:
“The International Council of Nurses (ICN) believes that health is a human right. ICN is at the forefront of advocating for access to health and nurses are the key to delivering it. All over the world, there are individuals and communities who are suffering from illness due to a lack of accessible and affordable health care. But we must also remember that the right to health applies to nurses as well. We know that improved quality and safety for patients depends on positive working environments for staff. That means the right to a safe working environment, adequate remuneration, and access to resources, and education. We must add to this the right to be heard and have a voice in decision making and policy development implementation.” She said: “Investing in nursing saves lives, prevents disease, heals, repairs and rehabilitates. It is therefore an investment in the wider economy and crucial that governments and organisations worldwide value, support and invest in the nursing profession.”
Providing essential health care services to vulnerable populations is the foundation of the nursing profession, which is underpinned by a code of ethics ensuring the provision of health care to all, regardless of race, gender, religion, ethnicity or wealth. Nursing care puts people at the centre of care to improve patient experiences, promote public health and reduce health inequalities. More than any other profession, nurses are the closest to those they treat and are best placed to assess the determinants of health and lead health systems towards more responsive frameworks. When at least 400 million people globally lack access to one or more essential health services and 100 million fall into poverty each year paying for these same services, it is time to turn to the core of healthcare for solutions. As the largest professional health workforce globally, nurses are key in the pursuit of Universal Health Coverage and must be supported by sound policies and fully integrated in governmental strategies to tackle domestic health needs.
For nurses, Health is a Human Right means that all humans have the right to access affordable and quality health care at a time when they need it most. And there are nurses working in everyday health care settings and in positions of influence and decision making that are doing this right now. Nurses must join together to share how they are transforming health care and health systems so that no person is left behind. They must be a voice to lead by supporting a people–centred approach to care and health systems, and ensuring our voices are heard in influencing health policy, planning and provision.
INMO President, Martina Harkin-Kelly, in saluting nurses at home and abroad, said:
“The theme for International Nurses Day underpins the simple, but vital, message that nurses play a central role in the provision of healthcare which is a human right. We are leaders in improving health systems. Governments across the world must understand that a high quality health service cannot be achieved without an adequate number of appropriately educated, empowered and autonomous nurses. The nurse is, without doubt, the health professional closest to the population they serve and therefore must be centrally involved in making decisions for strengthening health services and ensuring that healthcare is a human right.”
Ms Harkin-Kelly continued:
“At our Annual Delegate Conference last week we heard from nurses and midwives on the frontline on their working conditions and the difficulties they face every day in overcrowded and understaffed hospitals and all areas of the public health service. Major investment is needed in order to recruit and retain nurses so that the recruitment and retention issue can be resolved once and for all. We must remember that health is a human right for all, including nurses.
The debate was dominated by the issues of pay and staffing, as our members will not accept any further delays in addressing these two fundamental issues. The Public Service Pay Commission (PSPC) is due to issue its recommendations at the end May/early June. We believe the evidence of low pay affecting nurses’ decision to leave the Irish Public Service is very real and a cause of major concern to the INMO.
The crisis cannot be solved without dealing, once and for all, with the issue of pay. Members are united in pursuit of the goal of fair, proper and appropriate pay for every nurse in this country. This must reflect their role, their responsibility and the realities of the international labour market so that we can attract, retain and properly reward nurses in this country.”