A motion to improve working conditions and promotions for the nursing profession has been submitted to the Pyithu Hluttaw.
Daw Yin Min Hlaing, Pyithu Hluttaw MP from Gangaw township, Magwe Region, who submitted the proposal at Wednesday’s Hluttaw session, said it is aimed at overcoming obstacles faced by nurses.
She said the nursing profession is divided between those with diplomas and those with Bachelor of Nursing Science degrees. Nurses who have diplomas have to take several exams to get a promotion and it takes a long time before they can sit for them.
Daw Yin Min Hlaing said that only after three years of working as a trainee, can nurses with diplomas sit for the senior nurse’s exam. After this, they don the blue uniform, graduating from the red one. Then, after serving seven years more as senior nurses, they can take the exams for a sister’s position, which comes with a green uniform. After putting in another eight years, they can take the exam to become gazetted officers, who wear sky-blue uniforms.
To become a gazetted officer, they have to wait 20 years and sit for a multitude of exams.
Daw Yin Min Hlaing added, “Because of restrictions set on the length of service, it doesn’t matter how talented nurses are. They will not receive any promotions because of their lack of experience. I would like to suggest that instead of working experience, their education should be used as a yardstick for promotions.”
She also said there are two different types of nurses: Those who teach and lecture and practicing nurses.
Practising nurses lack theory, while those who teach lack practical experience. An ideal combination would be nurses who have both theory and practical experience.
Nurses are now unhappy with their work and are having to take on other unrelated duties.
“Duties unrelated to nursing, such as drug record bookkeeping and taking out medicines (which should be handled by accounting), janitorial duties and clearing the hospital of visitors after hours,” she said, adding that the Nurse and Midwife Council is weak and does very little for its members.
Daw Aye Mya Mya Myo, Pyithu Hluttaw MP of Kyauktan township, Yangon Region, seconded the proposal for debate.
“Hospitals and clinics that shouldn’t be crowded are filled with patients. Nurses and health staff have to bite off more than they can chew,” she said.
As such, she supports the move to reduce obstacles to promotions for nurses and a revamp of the Nursing Council.
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