Some 1000 nurses are needed in the public health system. To achieve this objective efforts have already been engaged to recruit the numbers to make the system more efficient and effective. While training is a top priority, moves are also being made to invite retired re-migrant nurses to come on board.
At least this is according to Senior Minister of Public Health, Ms. Volda Lawrence, who explained that “if you are a retiree and you have come back home and you have skills to offer and so on, we can put you at a different level to work within the system, because you would have a lot of knowledge to transfer.”
But in addition to inviting the retirees, the Minister said the Ministry is working overtime to train even more nurses to plug into the system.
“We are about to roll out a programme where we are going to be training 100 nurses instead of training 20 and 30. We have to do that to ensure that we can first fulfil our requirements, and right now we need about 1000 nurses in the system,” said the Minister.
The Minister made this disclosure even as she disclosed that simultaneously the Ministry has been working to increase the number of medexes in the system.
Speaking of the most recent batch of individuals who were admitted to the medex training programme, the Minister said, “our aim is to get 40…once their training is completed we will train another batch so that, within a timeframe of eight to 12 years, we will be able to say that we are solid in terms of the numbers that we have. So we are looking at projections; we are projecting ahead.”
Even as she highlighted the emphasis being placed on training, the Public Health Minister has also instructed her Health Sciences Education Department to implement yet another strategic programme to aid the process along.
“I have asked them to look at a shorter programme for persons who are already nurses but would like to come on now to do the medex programme. So we are looking at innovative ways in which we can beef up our numbers within the health sector,” said the Minister.
But the intensified efforts have not been without cause. In fact the Minister, even as she acknowledged migration as a primary cause for the need for increased training, made it clear that this development is certainly not unique to Guyana.
“Migration is not only a Guyana issue. We have signed on to the CSME [the Caribbean Single Market and Economy] and that gives the right to any Caribbean person to move from one country to the next to be able to ply their trade and earn in their profession, so it’s no different from Guyana,” the Minister asserted. She added, “We will continue to see migration, not only in nursing, not only in midwifery, but in many other skilled areas.”
The Minister disclosed that many less developed countries have been moving to file complaints against developed countries, since they have been helping to contribute to the migration situation.
“The developed countries are coming into our territories and employing persons…this has been a complaint right up to WHO by the less developed countries,” the Minister noted.
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