Categorized | National News

A Losing battle for Healthcare

An increase of Bahamian nurses heading north (North America) for jobs continues to pose serious issues for the country’s healthcare system and it is only one piece of the issue, according to Health Minister Dr. Duane Sands.


Accepting the reality of this, Dr. Sands on Wednesday told Parliament that the number of registered nurses leaving the country has exceeded 400.


Additionally, he said, if you were to include trained clinical nurses and other skilled staff, the national deficiency at this time is well over 800 professionals.


These issues have left officials with little choice but to shut down critical care beds to ensure patient safety.


“This challenge is ongoing and it is real. To that end, my senior management team at the ministry has been charged with identifying a creative, tangible and sustainable program for nursing retention and physician redeployment across our system..


“I am advised that a recent recruiting exercise in the last month, as many as an additional 60 nurses may have been poached by a wealthier nation to our north. We are a player in a massive geo- political chess board, where country sucks talent from us and we in turn recruit form other nations.”


If this was not enough, the minister said similar challenges are being faced in Mayaguana, Sprint Point, Acklins; Crooked Island, Spanish Wells, North Eleuthera, Fresh Creek, Andros; Sandy Point, Abaco and George Town, Exuma.


“We have now identified physicians who may be placed in the family islands, but each of these physicians will require a period of orientation and training which takes about three months,” he said.

The minister said he anticipates recruitment will be completed by the end of December 2017 and placement to commence by April 2018.

“Simultaneously, we have begun the process of redeployment of skilled physicians to facilitate longer hours of service,” he said.


The minister stressed though, that no healthcare sector could undo bad health choices.


Written by Jones Bahamas

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