Medical workers at vaccination stations in Kaohsiung, where the vaccination rate is higher than the national average, say the city’s Department of Health is treating them “like slaves,” the Taiwan Medical Action Alliance said yesterday.
The vaccination rate in Kaohsiung was 22 percent — higher than the national average of 20.4 percent as of Friday — but department officials supervising the city’s designated COVID-19 vaccination stations are showing a lack of respect toward overworked nurses, the alliance said.
“Efficiency is important, but is basic respect not important too? If you are measuring the time a nurse spends with each patient, you are putting pressure on the nurse and the patient,” it said.
The alliance said that efficiency could be improved by presenting groups of vaccine recipients with vaccine-related information all at once, rather than informing each patient separately.
“Before it was done individually, to empathize with older patients, but those getting vaccinated now are not old people,” it said.
Nurses and doctors at the stations are finding themselves worn out after a day of administering vaccinations, but they still need to return to hospitals and clinics to care for regular patients, the alliance said.
Nurses could expend less energy if patients were required to approach them, instead of the current system where nurses move about pushing an inoculation cart, it said.
Kaohsiung had tried the less tiring method after the alliance suggested it, but then switched back two days into the vaccination program, it said, adding that it was given no explanation.
“This is not a problem affecting just one vaccination station, we have had nurses come to us from all over the city in recent days,” the alliance said. “There are fundamental problems here that need to be addressed.”
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