Tufton Moves to Tackle Nurses Shortage

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Health Minister, Dr. Christopher Tufton says steps are being taken to ease the shortage of specialist nurses in the public health sector.

Fresh concerns have been raised by the President of the Nurses Association of Jamaica, Janet Coore Farr who says the situation is tantamount to a public health crisis.

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He says he has instructed that the parallel training programme of the Ministry of Health for specialist nurses be expanded and extended beyond its intended closure date of 2016.

This he says, will help in augmenting the numbers who will be trained by the University of Technology, UTech.

Meanwhile, Dr. Tufton says the Government is unable to match the remuneration offered to Jamaican nurses by recruiters from developed countries.

The President of the Nurses Association of Jamaica, Janet Coore Farr says nurses are being offered annual salaries of up to 36-thousand pounds sterling or approximately JMD$7-million to take up jobs in the UK.

Dr. Tufton says the Health Ministry is exploring options for recruitment abroad from countries such as Cuba and India.

He says the Ministry is expecting forty seven health care workers including doctors, dentists and specialist nurses to arrive in the island in the coming weeks.

The first batch of twenty is scheduled to arrive on March 21.

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