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Government to recruit nurses from Ghana

The government has announced an innovative way of addressing the shortage of nurses to improve the nation’s health care delivery system.

This week Minister of Health, Wellness and the Environment, Sir Molwyn Joseph, reported to the cabinet that arrangements are being made to recruit nurses from the West African nation of Ghana.

This was revealed on Wednesday by Chief of Staff in the Office of the Prime Minister, Lionel “Max” Hurst.

“The Minister of Health informed that Antigua and Barbuda has started the process to attract Ghanaian nurses to Antigua and Barbuda.

“Barbados has successfully recruited one hundred nurses from Ghana. They are English speaking, have been trained to meet the standards set by the United States and have several years of experience,” Hurst reported.

Like many of its Caribbean neighbours, Antigua and Barbuda has experienced a shortage of nurses. In part, this shortage has been created because Caribbean nurses have migrated to the United States and Canada, where their skills are in high demand.

Hundreds of Caribbean nurses take jobs in these countries as the compensation packages are far more attractive than those offered in the region.

Hurst also reported that the ministry has engaged a consultant to draft a plan to make the nation’s polyclinics more efficient and improve staffing.

“Many patients are going to the Sir Lester Bird Medical Centre for treatment when they need urgent care and not emergency care. The public clinics are not being utilised for the purpose intended because medical practitioners are frequently not present,” he noted.

Meanwhile, the cabinet has agreed to amend the law governing burials and introduce cremation in Antigua and Barbuda.

A crematorium was incorporated in the plan for the new cemetery, however, one of the country’s two funeral homes made an application for permission to operate one themselves.

The cabinet believes a single crematory is sufficient to meet the country’s needs given its population.

A statement issued on Wednesday said a public private partnership may be the direction in which it moves when the time comes to establish the facility.


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