The 14 committee members were shocked yesterday to discover they had been abruptly suspended, but said: “We will stand strong.”
The CINA committee of nurses who organised the 19th South Pacific Nurses Forum (SPNF) held last week, met with the Secretary of Health Dr Josephine Aumea Herman, who informed them of their suspensions.
President of CINA Nga Manea told the Cook Islands News yesterday: “We are suspended from today until further notice.”
Manea says they had received many compliments and positive feedback regarding the forum and was saddened and disappointed to receive the news of their suspensions from the Secretary of Health.
According to Manea the reasons given for the suspensions are that the CINA organisers did not follow VIP protocols at the opening of the SPNF conference on Monday, October 15.
She said the Secretary told them that they disrespected the Ministry of Health and the Minister of Health.
CINA have been requested to write letters of apologies regarding the ‘’breaches in protocol’’ to the Ministry of Health, Minister of Health, Ministry of Culture and the government.
The 14 nurses will not put in an appearance at their various health occupations from today and are adamant they will stay together.
“We will stand strong and remain united.”
More than 200 nursing health professionals from the Pacific including Tonga, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Fiji, Solomon’s, New Zealand and Australia were present at the seminar.
Participants had encouraging and optimistic remarks with a representative from the Cook Islands Nurses Association Aotearoa (CINAA) said she was proud of the hosts and hospitality, appreciated the inclusion of culture into the programme and enjoyed the discussion topics (noting midwifery).
The CINA organisers of the Forum held last week, were notified last Friday of yesterday’s meeting.
Cook Islands News attempted to contact Secretary of Health Dr Josephine Aumea Herman soon after being told of the suspensions, but no response had been received before going to print.