NAJ Laments Govt’s ‘Limited’ Plans for Nurses

The Nurses Association of Jamaica is taking issue with some of the announcements made by Health Minister, Dr. Christopher Tufton, during his contribution to the 2017/2018 Sectoral debate last week.

Minister Tufton told parliament that government intends to use $3.5-billion from the reserves of the National Health Fund, NHF, for a major overhaul of the country’s health infrastructure.

He also announced the creation of 300 permanent positions for specialist nurses.

This, in response to the increasing migration of specialist nurses. But President of the NAJ, Janet Coore-Farr, says minister’s plans for nurses are limited.

She says 700 tenured positions for nurses would be more welcomed.

Minister Tufton had also said discussions were underway for a partnership with the United Kingdom for the training of nurses partly in that country. But the NAJ is also taking issue with the length of time that programme is taking to be implemented.

Mrs. Coore-Farr is calling for the government to make provisions for housing and transportation for nurses.

In January all major surgeries at the University Hospital of the West Indies, UHWI, had to be canceled due to a severe shortage of specialist nurses and intensive care unit beds.

At that time, Chairman of the UHWI, James Moss-Solomon said 24 specialist nurses — half of the batch — are usually recruited by overseas companies before graduation.

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