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Letter - Time for nurses to get involved in health policy and advocacy

2021-06-04  Staff Reporter

Letter - Time for nurses to get involved in health policy and advocacy
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Nurses across the globe make up the largest workforce in the health sector. 

However, their involvement in health policy and advocacy is yet to be realised. As a health fraternity, nurses have a responsibility to be involved in health policy development to improve the health outcomes of the patients. 

It is time to change from being recipients and implementers of health policies, and transform into leaders with a persuasive voice at decision- making tables and the development of health policies within the health framework. 

How frequently do nurses reflect on policies that are not well-formulated or under-resourced?

What is more, nurses have not yet recognised the potential to influence health policy and politics on a national level. Conversely, nurse leaders and managers have a unique role to be actively involved in legislation concerned with patients’ care. 

Their influence in policies and politics will also improve healthcare delivery through advocating for the patients and general public health. 

Every so often, there are bureaucratic barriers which impede nurses from raising their voices on issues regarding policy concerns, and some do not have the confidence to do so. 

Politics and health policies are intertwined, and at the core of healthcare. 

Nurses should be politically savvy to engage with various political leaders on policy reforms, make decisions on how to utilise resources effectively for the benefit of the patients, and shape their working environments.

On the other hand, there is a gap in their training programmes, and they require the right health policy knowledge, skills and attitudes. 

This will also boost their motivation to be rightfully engaged in health policies. 

With this in mind, training institutions and the regulatory body should ponder incorporating health policy training programmes into the existing nursing curriculum. 

This will also serve as an eye-opener for nurses to learn how policy and advocacy is central to patient care. 

The nursing profession may possibly learn from the medical fraternity, which continually influences health policy. 

Moreover, when nurses are conversant with health policy skills, they will be valued, and be in a position to better inform the policymakers on the issues that matter.

2021-06-04  Staff Reporter

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