According to press reports, more than 700 nurses in Jamaica have left for jobs overseas since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Health Minister Dr. Christopher Tufton reportedly told the House of Representatives that he is expecting the pace of the exodus to increase.
“[A]s the pandemic subsides, and the short-term economic shock takes hold, we will have a stronger migration pull, we believe, on our nurses and our health care workers. We do have health care workers that are world-known as being excellent and the demand for them…will only get greater and the impact on our system will be even more severe if we do not take some corrective measures,” he warned.
The Minister also noted that there has been increased funding to the ministry in the last 24 months to help with some of the human resource challenges.
He said the ministry has been able to expand posts within the system.
“We have been able to establish 230 new posts for medical officers and more than 1400 posts for community health aides and these are not in most cases contract workers. Certainly, as it relates to the doctors, we have established these posts and it means an expansion of personnel in our health system,” he said.
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Edited by Jesus Chan
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