December 8, 2009

CARICOM loses to movement of nurses

Published on: 12/7/2009.

EMIGRATION of nurses is costing some CARICOM countries an estimated US$16 million in losses.
This cost accounts for training and retraining people to replace those nurses who leave for greener pastures.
Chief Nursing Officer Mitchell Clarke made the disclosure yesterday while delivering a speech on behalf of Minister of Health Donville Inniss at the inaugural meeting on Nursing And Midwifery Education In The CARICOM Region.
It was held at the Pan American Health Organisation’s headquarters, Dayrells Road, Christ Church, under the theme: Towards An Action Plan To Build Capacity For Nursing And Midwifery Education.
“The migration of professionals is an increasing problem for some member states of the CARICOM region. Globalisation has led to even greater mobility of health professionals and opportunities for employment.
“Caribbean countries have estimated losses of US$16 million in training and retraining costs to replace the human capital lost to emigration. In order to address this worldwide shortage of nurses, governments and professional organisations must find creative ways of making the profession more attractive,” Clarke said.
He said Government had embarked on a programme to increase the enrolment of nurses in training at the Barbados Community College on an annual basis. In addition, he disclosed that the Nursing Council of Barbados recently evaluated the general nursing programme and the findings would be given shortly to stakeholders. The report of the task force had been submitted, he added, and discussions on the way forward would be held soon.
Clarke pointed out that nurses played a multi-disciplinary role in the delivery of healthcare and attention would be paid to training in areas like gerontology, paediatrics and critical care nursing.
The new Nurses Bill, Rules and Regulations, 2008, reflected the innovative changes recently made in the Ministry of Health to upgrade the regulation of the nursing profession, said Clarke.
“I wish to highlight here the provision in the regulation for the reduction in the age of entry into nursing from 18 years to 16 years,” he said. “This provision would ensure that younger persons desirous of pursuing a career in nursing are not restricted from doing so, and eventually lost to other disciplines.” (MR)

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