The Nurses Association of Jamaica is describing the mass migration of specialist nurses from the nation’s hospitals as a public health crisis.

NAJ President, Janet Coore-Farr, says the practice of nurses leaving the island for better opportunities abroad has reached crisis proportions.

The biggest poachers of Jamaican nurses are the US, Canada and the UK. Mrs. Coore Farr says nurses are being offered up to £36,000 to take up jobs in the UK.

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The NAJ President says the recruiters are not taking the average nursing student who just left school. Instead, she says they’ve sought to take the very best of the country’s nurse cohort. Its a problem that she says has plunged the health care system into a crisis.

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Mrs. Coore Farr says the countries will even pay outstanding student loans or bonds for the nurses to leave.

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The NAJ President says the migration of nurses is nothing new. But the problem is worsening.

She says the overseas agencies are offering far more attractive opportunities leaving Jamaica with no chance in keeping the nurses here.

She ways working conditions are far better than what exists in our public health system.

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Meanwhile, Mrs. Coore Farr says she’s waiting to have a meeting with Health Minister Dr. Christopher Tufton to craft ways to keep the island’s nurses.

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