Nevis Health Minister lauds island’s nurses; says service critical

NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (MAY 17, 2013) — The nursing profession is a critical component to the survival of the health care service on Nevis. That was the view expressed by Deputy Premier and Minister of Health in the Nevis Island Administration Hon. Mark Brantley when he met with nurses at the Hospital’s conference room on Government Road, on May 13, 2013.

The visit with the island’s nurses marked the Health Minister’s first familiarisation meeting. It provided them with the opportunity to put forward their concerns and for open and frank discussions so that he could have a better understanding of what was happening at the Hospital and the health care services in general.

“Nursing is absolutely critical if we are to survive, if our health system is to survive and to provide the care to our people that it is clearly necessary. I know it is an often stated cliché that the health of a nation is the wealth of a nation but it is actually true and no matter how much money we have and how robust our economy is and at the end of the day our people aren’t healthy and our people don’t have access to adequate treatment and adequate care, then all is for nought and for that reason we have been trying very hard at the Ministry of Health

“Since I have taken over there, we have been redoubling our efforts to really try and demonstrate in word and indeed that we are committed to the nursing profession and we are committed to our health care professionals,” he said.

Meantime, the Health Minister spoke warmly to retired nurses who accepted the NIA’s invitation to return to active duty. He said the shortage of nurses had to be addressed and the Administration looked to the retired nurses who had much left to offer the Nevis community.

“We have had a chronic shortage of nurses. I think this is no secret to you or to the public and so one of the measures we have initiated immediately is to try and woo some of our nurses back into the profession…

“The service that our retired nurses can provide is something that we think is critical. So we have gone and tried to talk to our retired nurses to say at 55/56 or 60 you still have so much to offer and rather than us following slavishly the rules as they relate to retirement where people have something to offer and there is such a critical need,” he said.

Minister Brantley noted that the Administration had the option of recruiting nurses from other parts of the world but thought it best to bring back able Nevisian Nurses.

“I will tell you candidly, that when I entered the Ministry we had options about going to the Philippines, some other options about going to other Caribbean islands and I thought that it was sensible and cost effective and really part and parcel of our overall development as an island, that we bring our own people back. So those who have accepted the invitation to come back, I say thank you very much,” he said.

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