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The Immunization room where nurses and health workers recvived the first set of COVID-19 vaccines at the Couva Hospital, Uriah Butler Highway on Wednesday.

Rishard Khan

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The president of the Registered Nurses Association Idi Stuart is calling for the association to be included in the decision-making process within the public healthcare system.

Speaking during CNC3’s The Morning Brew, Stuart commended the Ministry of Health’s handling of the COVID-19 outbreak but noted the association wanted a seat at the table.

“The relationship generally between the Ministry of Health – and I’m not speaking exclusively about this Minister of Health and this administration – but generally nurses have not been at the decision-making process making table, the policy-making table,” he said.

He laid out several instances where issues arose following policy implementation which he believes could have been avoided if they were approached for input.

“It shouldn’t be that type of reactive engagement with the association. We want to be there first and foremost when these decisions are being made,” he said.

“And it would bode well for the entire healthcare system. We want what is only best not only for our members for the population of Trinidad and Tobago. We would not want to see situations arise that ought not to arise…if we were involved at the onset.”

Instances where the association was not consulted he said included the staffing of the parallel healthcare system as well as the plans for rolling out of COVID-19 vaccines.