Charlestown Nevis (February 2nd 2007)
Minister of Health in the Nevis Island Administration the Hon. Hensley Daniel has issued a call for young people in Nevis to equip themselves for careers in the health care profession citing that it would allow them to respond to the challenges facing the critical care needs of the island. The Minister made the call following a recent visit to the Alexandra Hospital where he took a first hand look as he assessed the health care sector on Nevis.
In an interview with the Department of Information, Mr. Daniel said there was an urgent need for trained professionals to assume a number of immediate vacant positions at the institution and also training opportunities.“We need pharmacists urgently, we need a biochemical engineer who can repair and maintain all equipment that we are buying and I am urging our students to spend some more time doing Science; Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Mathematics.
“Double up in your work in science, cut out some of the time on the TV, cut out some of the time on the cell phone, cut out some of the time with bad behaviour and get to the books, get reading get studying. We need to be able to compete. We need to have our health service profession properly equipped, properly staffed so that we could respond to the challenges of providing health care,” he said.
According to Mr. Daniel, there were a number of training opportunities that were readily available, among them, are a three-year training programme for nurses at the Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College in St. Kitts and a degree programme at the University of Technology in Jamaica. There was also an offer from the Cuban government for training in basic nursing which has so far attracted little attention.
The Minister of Health noted that an alarming 2 out of 45 students in the 6A of the Sixth Form College were pursuing studies in Sciences and said that government would not continue to have students graduated annually without equipping them with the training in professions that do not help to ensure that the health services were maintained.
“We should have had our young people directed and seduced if you wish through scholarships and direct assistance from government to provide health care for the country. It is fundamental requirement of development that the human resource capability in the health services be taken care of”, he said.
According to Mr. Daniel, careers in the health service were important and the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) would raise the bar. He said the Administration would restructure and reorganize the nursing profession and in the future, take the nursing profession outside of the Civil Service.
He said the restructured nursing profession would have its own remuneration package since the nursing profession should not continue to be compared with the services of someone who worked in another government office.