Nevis Health Minister – Hensley Daniel
May 12, 2009
A top Health Official in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) called for the public’s support for a home grown initiative which would provide a wide range of incentives for nurses on the island.
The call was sounded by Minister of Health Hon. Hensley Daniel, as he delivered a televised speech on Monday to herald a week of activities which surround International Nurses Day on May 12. The theme is “Delivering Quality, Serving Communities, Nurses Leading Care Innovation”.
“We have established a nursing fund for training with $50,000. We are going to continue mobilising resources to build up this fund. We intend to have a major walk and pledge during the year.
“We urge the public to support this home grown initiative to finance the training of nurses,” he said.
Mr. Daniel reiterated the NIA’s position of solid support for the nurses of Nevis and said it had recognised the central role the health providers had played in the provision of quality health care and made the arrangements to finance their training.
He pointed to the diverse careers in nursing in the field of intensive care, paediatrics, surgery, anaesthesiology, mental health, public health and physical therapy and urged parents to encourage and support their children to pursue Nursing as a career.
“We cannot continue to have these shortages and expect others to carry out the responsibility for careï¿½We in the Nevis Island Administration will restructure the pay packages for nurses and provide a wider range of incentives for nurses,” he said.
The Health Minister also urged the public to use the week of activities planned by the Nevis Nurses Association to rekindle interest in the noble profession of nursing.
Mr Daniel cited that Nurses Week 2009 was being celebrated at a time when there was a lack of interest in Nursing.
He said the public owed it to themselves to ensure a solid cadre of highly trained nurses was available to help when anyone on Nevis became ill.
“It behoves all of us to ensure that the nursing profession climbs back up the ladder as one of the leading professions. It is now time again to lift the status of the nurses,” he said.
The Minister said his Ministry was forced to introduce sessional nursing which took care of service gaps due to the shortage of nursing staff.
He said 60 percent of the nursing staff had completed more than 25 years of service and were up for immediate retirement. However, if that scenario was allowed to happen, the delivery of health care would deteriorate and as such, had allowed them to return to work to address the nursing shortage.