Mildred Mayr

Finalist 2012

Mildred Mayr

Medical & Nursing Care
Medical & Nursing Care manages and administers in-patient hospital wards providing personnel and management skills through a public-private partnership.

Mildred Mayr, 39, knew she wanted to nurse from an early age. ‘When I was a girl, I looked after my grandmothers, who were both ill; I think it sowed the seeds for my vocation.’ Often doctors and specialists receive the accolades, but nurses are a crucial component in patient care, treatment and wellbeing. Healthcare services are heavily dependent on them. ‘A patient’s stay in hospital may be 100% satisfactory in terms of surgery or treatment, but if they receive poor nursing care they will remember it as being miserable,’ says Mildred, who is well placed to comment, having nursed for 13 years in five Chilean public hospitals, culminating as a supervisor in 2009.

Chile’s public health service guarantees universal access to healthcare and is generally well accepted by the population. Reforms and modernisation have been underway since the 1990s, a decade in which the number of doctors increased by 33% and the number of nurses by 34%, according to the World Health Organisation. Yet in Mildred’s experience, hospitals suffer from a recurring problem: absenteeism. ‘Public hospitals have strict legislation which does not allow any staff modifications. In certain hospitals, monthly levels of nursing absenteeism reach 25%.’ Insufficiently replaced due to budgetary constraints, the result is critical staff shortage.