Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Our experience is that the best nurses in Boston are from the Caribbean, and that the nurses left in the Caribbean are nothing to brag about. I think Dr Kahn is right.
One of the ways to encourage nurses to remain in T&T is to boost their salaries. That was one of the suggestions by Health Minister Dr Fuad Khan in response to the migration of nurses from Trinidad and Tobago. Khan said the shortage of nurses was a “serious problem.” He added: “What I think we have to do is to start a different criteria and method of training nurses and I am thinking of introducing the patient care system where we will have patient care assistants going into the system and working themselves up to become nurses.” Khan was speaking to reporters at the opening ceremony for the 19th meeting of Regional General Nursing Councils  at Kapok Hotel, Maraval, yesterday. He said nurses could not be prevented from leaving the country but if their salaries were boosted perhaps it would be an incentive for them to stay in T&T. He added: “What we have to do is to increase the salaries, hopefully, and keep them more comfortable.
“What I do say though, is that if the nurses start to become specially trained nurses and go into the BSc (degree) and RN (registered nurse) they will be eligible for  better salaries so it will be a win-win situation.” Nurses from Barbados, Belize, Bahamas, Grenada, Jamaica, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Monsterrat were at the meeting. In his feature address, Khan told the gathering the value of nurses to the region could not be underestimated. He said nurses were invaluable to the delivery of healthcare and issued several challenges to them.
Khan challenged the nursing fraternity to develop innovative examination methods to test practical and theoretical knowledge, to use their knowledge and experience to advance healthcare within Caricom and to ensure there was an appropriate audit system in place for nursing activities. (RR)

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