NAJ wants Health ministry to establish more permanent posts for nurses
Jerome Reynolds, Acting Assistant News Editor – Radio
Health Minister, Dr Christopher Tufton, has given an undertaking to look into the number of permanent posts in the public sector for nurses as part of a retention strategy for the profession.
That’s according to president of the Nurses’ Association of Jamaica (NAJ), Janet Coore Farr, who said the issue of security of tenure is one of the challenges driving nurses out of the system.
Jamaica has been experiencing a shortage of nurses, especially critical care workers, who are taking up jobs overseas.
Coore Far told The Gleaner/Power 106 News Centre that, during a meeting yesterday with Dr Tufton and ministry officials, the association shared data which showed that a number of nurses in the public sector have not been appointed in their posts.
She said a sample taken from seven hospitals revealed that only 87 of 319 specialist nurses canvassed are permanently appointed.
According to her, many of the nurses are currently operating on six-month contracts.
The NAJ president said the association also discussed the issues of salaries, working conditions and the recruitment of nurses, especially from Cuba, into Jamaica.
For his part, Dr Tufton said the Government is committed to addressing the challenges affecting nurses underscoring that it will take a collaborative approach.