Representatives of the nation's 120,000 nurses yesterday urged president-elect Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to fulfill eight promises he made during the election campaign to improve their working conditions.
“President Ma said he would achieve the eight promises if elected, and we want to remind him of his words less than two weeks before he takes office,” said Yin Jeo-chen (尹祚芊), president of the National Union of Nurses.
Yin made the appeal on the eve of International Nurses Day, which commemorates the May 12 birthday of English nurse Florence Nightingale.
The eight promises included providing reasonable working conditions, designating at least one vice minister of the Department of Health with a nursing background, improving the nurse-patient ratio and banning people with Chinese diplomas from taking professional exams in Taiwan.
“The excessive workload of nurses is a problem that has never been resolved,” said Yin, adding that nurses in local hospitals work two to four times longer than those in developed countries.
The situation is more serious in remote areas or local clinics, said Kao Ching-chiu (高靖秋), the president of the Taiwan Association on Nursing Practice in Non-government Health Service Organizations.