Skip to content

the business of health care

November 11, 2013

I feel nauseous. A health care staffing agency sent me an invitation to work in a “market” of remote First Nations communities. Here’s my response:

I couldn’t help noticing the use of the word “market” instead of “communities.” Nurses don’t serve markets. We work with people — in this case, Aboriginal people, who have surely been commodified and objectified enough.

If you want to use the word “market” in your internal business planning, that is unfortunate, but may serve a purpose. Please be aware of how awful it sounds to front-line health care professionals and the PEOPLE we work in partnership with, to improve health, not to exploit.

[Agency name withheld] and other staffing agencies play an important role in matching nurses with communities. Please put people first in your language and your thoughts. Please do share this feedback with all staff in the head office.

I look forward to hearing how [agency name withheld] receives this feedback.

This is part of the isolation for nurses in remote communities. Not only are you working as a foreigner in someone else’s home, not only are you away from your own home, but it is quite likely that your employer has a different agenda from your own. To put it bluntly, it feels gross to be used as a tool for moneymaking, in communities which are hurting because we do not recognise their personhood, nationhood, or ownership of land and resources.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Ruby permalink
    November 11, 2013 9:35 pm

    Good letter, Alison. Good on you for doing that so carefully and clearly. Love Ruby


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: