Nurses Union denounces the Minister of Public Health

Haiti Press Network, translated from French by Charles Arthur for the Haiti Support Group, 27 September 2002

At a press conference on 20 September, leaders of the Syndicat Professionnel des Infirmières (SPI, the Nurses’ Union) expressed their concerns in the aftermath of what they called a disappointing meeting with the Minister of Public Health, Henry Claude Voltaire.

SPI general-secretary, Rose Bellot Bernard, denounced the Minister for his negligence with regard to nurses, saying they were being treated like poor relations. By way of example, she said that for approximately one year the Minister had refused to sign the graduation certificates of newly-qualified nurses. According to Bernard, this tactic was aimed at destroying the nursing body.

SPI deputy-secretary, Misoul Edouard, denounced the leaders of the country for putting their trust in any one individual to carry out responsibilities that are more social than technical. She continued saying that the Minister behaved like a dictator in the way that he arrived at decisions. For example, she referred to the Nurses’ Home—the only place where nurses could meet—which at the moment, without the nurses’ approval, houses the Mid-wifery School.

The nurses called on the population to remain vigilant, and renewed their determination to defy the Minister’s attempts to pour oil on the fire in relation to country’s health problems.