No respect for Taiwan’s Nurses

Old Blog Import

This Op-Ed in the Taipei Times shows how little regard Taiwan grants to the work of the (mostly female) nursing staff who are the front line of defense against SARS:

To show the Cabinet’s appreciation for medical staff treating SARS patients, Premier Yu Shyi-kun announced on April 27 that each doctor treating SARS patients would receive NT$10,000 per day and each nurse NT$3,000. Shouldn’t the bonuses reflect the degree of danger each professional is exposed to? The amount given to nurses shows how little regard the nursing profession is given here.

As a result, Nurses are not willing to work, as this Washington Post article explains:

Last Sunday, more than 120 nurses at a hospital in Kaohsiung resigned. Thirty more nurses across Taiwan have refused to go back to work, at least 12 of whom worked at Chen’s hospital.

“Their families are pushing them to resign,” said Jenny Chang Liao, director of the Taipei City Nurses Association, which has 20,000 members. Nurses have complained that they lack sufficient supplies of masks, caps and gowns. In many hospitals, nurses have complained that they are issued one mask per week instead of one a day as recommended by health guidelines.