Global Day of Action 2014 - Nurses and Healthcare Workers Proclaim "Healthcare is a Human Right"
Leading nurse and healthcare union organizations in 12 countries in the Americas, Africa, Asia, Australia, and Europe held coordinated actions marking international “Nurses Week” (May 6-12) with a call to step up efforts to promote patient safety, protect health care services, and ensure access to health care for all with a common theme of “Health Care is a Human Right.”
The actions included calls to enact measures to stop the privatization of health services and protect patient safety, including the passage of legislation for safe staffing laws. Nurses also took action against the harmful health effects of climate change, and made a call for enactment of the Robin Hood tax on trades of stocks, bonds and other financial instruments to raise needed revenue for basic human needs.
In each country, the actions were led by affiliates of Global Nurses United, an international federation of nurses and healthcare worker unions across the globe formed in June last year in San Francisco. Leaders of the organizations pledged to work together to resist austerity measures and promote health care as a right for all people.
What follows is a visual recap of GNU actions around the world for which we received photographic or video documentation. In addition to those pictured there were also actions in:
Guatemala: The Sindicato Nacional de los Trabadores de Salud de Guatemala held a picket in Guatemala City at the Congress of the Republic demanding passage of the Robin Hood Tax to protect public health care services.
Dominican Republic: The Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de Enfermeria held marches in the cities of Santo Domingo, Santiago, Barahona and San Pedro de Macorís demanding a bigger budget for public health and against the privatization of health services.
South Korea: The Korean Health and Medical Workers Union organized a national tour that began last week and will continue until May 23 in opposition to health care privatization and the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) along with the announcement of a new study emphasizing the need for improved staffing.
Korean Health and Medical Workers' Union
Brazil: The Federação Nacional dos Enfermeiros organized nurses, healthcare workers and students for a five-day encampment at the Minas Gerais Legislative Assembly to protest poor working conditions. Nurses and nursing students also mobilized at the national capital in Brasilia and participated in a public hearing to push for national legislation to reduce nurses’ working hours.
In Brasilia, Brazilian nurses and nursing students were honored for their work, especially for their fight for the regulation of working hours.
Australia: The Queensland Nurses Union staged workplace activities in 137 hospitals and aged-care facilities across Queensland, and the New South Wales Nurses and Midwives Association organized actions in New South Wales.
NSWNMA Celebrates International Nurses Week
Queensland Nurses Union Nurses & Midwives' "flash mob" dance in Brisbane in celebration of International Nurses Day
Kenya: The Kenya National Union of Nurses joined the national mobilization for May Day with their banner proclaiming: We Dare to Care!
Canada: The Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions organized a national “wear white” protest campaign to push for safe staffing and defend patient safety, along with workplace protests and street rallies and the Fédération Interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec organized actions to support nurses and other health care professionals across Quebec.
United Nurses of Alberta at the Peace Bridge in Calgary on International Nurses Day
South Africa: DENOSA, the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa, is holding events, under the theme “Nurses: A Force for Change, A vital Resource for Health,” across the country through May 29. [http://www.cosatu.org.za/show.php?ID=8755]
DENOSA nurses at International Nurses Day celebration in Soweto.
Honduras: The Asociation Nacional de Enfermeras/os Auxiliares de Honduras held marches across the country including Tegucigalpa where, dressed in white uniforms, union members and allies carried placards with messages to President Juan Orlando Hernández: "Mr. President, do not ignore the nurses," and another banner denounced the shortage of drugs with "In the San Felipe hospital's drug crisis: no anesthesia for surgery, no pain killers!"
Asociacion Nacional de Enfermeras y Enfermeros Auxiliares de Honduras
United States: National Nurses United marked the Global Day of Action with mobilizations and activities in Chicago, Illinois, Washington, DC, Sacramento, California, and various locations in Florida, Minnesota, Texas and Maine.
Chicago, IL: RNs rally to demand closure of the polluting "Petcoke" (Petroleum Coke) plant.
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Washington DC: RNs rally to push for passage of safe staffing legislation in district hospitals
Sacramento, CA: 500 RNs converge on the state Capitol to press for passage of bills that would improve patient care and workplace safety.
Ireland: Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation launched a safe staffing campaign at their 3-day 95th annual delegate conference.
Philippines: The Alliance of Health Workers staged a Health Workers' Day action on May 7 in Manila to stand up for health care workers and public health care and protest the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The agreement would open up to foreign investors the purchase of 72 hospitals, which will lead to price increases and further deprive Filipinos access to affordable care. When new owners acquire the hospitals all the workers can be terminated.
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