Demming Choronicles chats with Idi Stewart, President – T&T Registered Nurses Association & Dr. Gabrielle Hosein, Teacher/Gender Advocate

Demming Chronicles chats with Idi Stewart, President of the Trinidad and Tobago Registered Nurses Association about the state of the health care sector & Dr. Gabrielle Hosein, Teacher/Researcher/Gender Advocate about developing a society based on equity and nonviolence.

Health Sector Imperatives

President of the Trinidad and Tobago Registered Nurses Association (TTRNA) Idi Stuart reflects on our health care sector and the small steps which can be taken to provide a better experience for citizens. While there is continued investment in the sector, the focus is on buildings and infrastructure with little attention being paid to the people who populate the institutions. Many of the solutions to our health care problems are contained in the Gladys Gafoor Report of 2004, which was submitted to his Excellency the President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago on Friday, April 13, 2007.

Healthy Lifestyles & Nursing

He comments that the focus ought to be more on maintaining healthy lifestyles than on taking care of persons after they become ill. Nurses are fundamental to making that pivot to a more robust primary health care strategy. However several challenges face our Nursing community including low remuneration and few opportunities for skill upgrade. These result in migration being very attractive. Some countries offer our nurses a sign-on bonus that is equivalent to 3 times their monthly salary.

Better Healthcare

The TTRNA is confident in our country’s capacity to improve the health care system but it requires a strategic focus on inclusion for decision making. He identified the 3 tactical measures which need focused attention as legislation to make continuing education mandatory; inclusion of Nursing representation in the Regulatory Authority and development of a strategy to retain the Nurses who are educated by our country.

Gender Equity and nonviolence.

At minute 15, the conversation turns to the protection of girls and women with our guest Dr. Gabrielle Hosein (Gaby). It is noted that Gaby, her mother, and her daughter all carry the middle name “Jamela”.

Gaby expressed her continued inspiration to be the young women who advocate for the rights of women and girls; the bold young men who are not afraid or ashamed to be described as feminists; and the need to transform our space into one which is protective of the most vulnerable amongst us. A strong theme in this interview is the need for us to care for each other and care 7 generations into the future.

Non Violence and Gender

Her long-term vision is for a society where violence in all its manifestations is removed and we live in peaceful harmony. The conversations about what women want are conversations about how to ensure equity. A Parliament which comprises 30% women is unacceptable and should be transformed to reflect all manifestations of our population including the differently-abled and persons whose gender expression is different. Although over the past 20 years women have dominated tertiary level education their presence is not reflected in the leadership of organizations and institutions.

Social transformation

She commented that none of our political parties have gender or sexual harassment policies. Neither are there clear expressions of their expectations of a society based on equity. Transforming our society to one based on equity and non-violence requires patience and deep listening to understand the needs and aspirations of our most vulnerable.

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