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Tufton in talks with UK over proposal to address nurse shortage

Published:Friday | February 3, 2017 | 8:54 AM
In this file photo, two nurses head down Princess Street outside the Kingston Public Hospital in Kingston after work as a homeless man looks on.

Jovan Johnson, Staff Reporter

Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton says the Government is pursuing discussions with the United Kingdom that could see the two countries training and sharing nurses to respond to the shortages affecting them. 

He told journalists that there is no specific timeline for concluding the talks but if there's an agreement, that the programme would be implemented within a year.

According to Tufton, registered nurses could get advanced practical training in the UK under the three-pronged proposal to respond to the shortage of registered nurses here.

The second stage involves a partnership with the UK for an exchange of nursing educators to expand specialist nursing in Jamaica.

IN PHOTO: Minister of Health Dr Christopher Tufton and French health representative, Amelie Schmitt, at the World Health Organisation summit in Geneva, Switzerland last month.

The third proposal involves the rotation of nurses on bond between the Jamaica and the UK or any other country that participates in the training exchanges.


Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton

Tufton says he has received encouraging feedback from the UK government and other British stakeholders on his proposal.

Meanwhile, he says the London South Bank University has expressed willingness to design a programme for the exchange.

The Government has been under pressure to secure nurses for Jamaica as many are being lured away by developed countries like the UK.

At a World Health Organisation meeting in Switzerland last month, Tufton led a call for a response to the intense recruitment of nurses from developing societies by richer countries.