The plight of unvaccinated nurses will be highlighted once again as Nurses for Freedom NZ (NFFNZ) attends the TFRC protest in Wellington on the 23rd August.
Over 2000 public health care workers including over 600 nurses and midwives are unable to work in hospitals around New Zealand because they chose to exercise bodily autonomy. This number does not include those working in the community such as lead maternity carers or those working in non-government organisations such as private hospitals and aged care.
The predicament for nurses working long hours since the pandemic started is now more significant considering there was a 4000 nursing staff deficit before covid, Nurses for Freedom NZ spokesperson Deborah Cunliffe says.
“We have asked to meet with the Nursing Council of New Zealand, whose primary function is to protect the health and safety of members of the public by ensuring nurses are competent and fit to practise. But they will not meet us.
“We have also contacted the New Zealand Nurses Organisation which represents more than 55,000 nurses and health workers. But they have not agreed to meet us.
“We have repeatedly asked to speak to key cabinet ministers but they won’t meet us.
In addition to tomorrow’s protest, Nurses for Freedom NZ encourages all nurses and health care professionals to join them for a second Nurses National Action in 15 towns and cities around New Zealand on Wednesday August 31.
The venues include Christchurch, Kaitaia, Taranaki Base Hospital, Waikato hospital, Whangarei hospital, Blenheim-Wairau hospital, Hastings hospital, Palmerston North hospital, Dunedin Public hospital, Golden Bay Hospital, Middlemore, Warkworth, Gisborne, Masterton hospital and Tauranga hospital.
Cunliffe says it is madness to stop hundreds of nurses, midwives and carers from working just because they remain mandated even though they are willing to support a health system in crisis.
There is simply no sound scientific justification for the continuation of vaccine mandates. CEO of the College of Midwives Alison Edy has written to Health Minister Little asking for a robust review of the evidence given the critical midwifery workforce shortages.
Whilst hundreds of health care professionals and support staff are still subject to the mandates, others continue to leave due to booster requirements or vaccine injuries.
“We are very clear about our professional objectives which include the mandates being dropped and unvaccinated nurses returning to work.
“We support the right for other groups such as TFRC to state their objectives and manage these responsibly but are very clear on what we want for our members.”