Physician leaders send anniversary message of thanks to nurses

A New Year message of support for nurses and midwives has come from the World Medical Association to mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale.

The message follows the World Health Organisation’s decision to designate 2020 as the ‘Year of the Nurse and Midwife’.

Today, the WMA, representing millions of physicians across the world, issued a message of thanks to nurses and midwives for their co-operation and teamwork at all times, in all countries and in all conditions.

WMA President Dr. Miguel Jorge said: ‘We are proud to work in multi-disciplinary teams providing the best health care necessary. Our nursing colleagues are strong partners in helping patients and communities, and together we make a difference.

‘Nurses and midwifes are often the first health professionals to see a patient, and sometimes the only ones.

WMA Chair Dr. Frank Ulrich Montgomery added: ‘For healing patients and the best care, for palliation and rehabilitation, for community care and prevention, nurses and midwifes are an essential element in the chain to deliver health care.

‘We hope that declaring 2020 as the “Year of the Nurse and Midwife” is more than just tokenism and lip-service. There is a severe lack of nurses in many countries, and in most places nurses and midwives are undervalued and underpaid. Nurses are desperately needed to provide nursing care.

‘We hope and expect governments to take the necessary steps to improve the working and living conditions of nurses and midwives, so that they can provide the services for which they have been educated.’