Categorized | National News

Panel to address Nurses shortage

A high level panel set being up to determine what it will take to stop the hemorrhaging throughout the public healthcare system, whereby registered and clinical nurses are leaving by the hundreds.

The prevailing complaint is remuneration, benefits and condition of services.

Health Minister Dr. Duane Sands accepts that the Bahamas will never be able to compete with places like North America. However, he says they are looking at ways to modify the experience of nurses, so that they are more inclined to remain home.

“There is going to have to be significant alterations in the approach to this problem if we’re going to fix it.

“Multiple other countries have dealt with this. The United States has learned that in order to get more nurses, you just suck up nurses from everywhere else; Jamaica, the Bahamas, the Philippines etc. We can’t compete with that because we don’t have the financial head room to do it.

” We do a similar thing to Jamaica, Barbados and other countries in the Caribbean, because we have a little more financial whereitall,” Sands said.

The Bahamas has been hiring nurses from as far as the Philippines, but the preference is to give those jobs to Bahamians.

“The good news is we would have added an additional 100 nurses to the payroll. These would have been Bahamian nursing students who have completed their training, passed their exam and have been added to the role of the public service. They are bonded to the government and people of the Bahamas for a period of time,” said Dr. sands.

Around 600 nurses have left the profession, creating a serious problem for the delivery of health care services throughout the country.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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