Health Ministry fast-tracking recruitment of critical care nurses from overseas
Jerome Reynolds, Acting Assistant News Editor – Radio
Health Minister, Dr Christopher Tufton, says the Ministry of Health is fast-tracking the recruitment of critical care nurses from overseas to help stem the shortage of local nurses who continue to leave the public health system in significant numbers.
Tufton says 100 nurses have been recruited from Cuba and some have already deployed into the public system.
He says discussions are underway to get a similar number from India in the first quarter by March this year.
Additionally, the health minister says the ministry is seeking partnerships with overseas entities to train more critical care health professional to satisfy local demand in public health.
There has been intense concern since the Chairman of the University Hospital of the West Indies, James Moss Solomon, revealed yesterday that major surgeries at the hospital have been cancelled because of a lack of critical care nurses and a shortage of beds in Intensive Care.
The move has caused further delays for persons already on a long waiting list.
Tufton has admitted that there is little the Government can do stop the migration of Jamaican nurses to work in overseas health companies.
Noting that compensation and working conditions are among the reasons nurses migrate, Tufton said the Health Ministry is constrained to respond to these needs.