Nurses’ registration to be regularised, new Council meets

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The newly formed Nurses and Midwives Council held its first meeting on Wednesday during which Health Minister Dr. Frank Anthony told the body that his ministry has many plans to improve nursing administration and care.

Speaking directly to the nursing staff, the minister said according to the law, medical professionals will be tasked with maintaining and improving the nursing system and the registration and certification of nurses.

The Council consists of 16 members.

The minister told the members that their role will be, among things, to improve the nursing system in the country, which has a backlog in the registration of nurses. He told them that the Council is now expected to address this issue and others that nursing personnel might face.

“I am here because I want to meet with the new Council and to lay out a vision of where I see the Council going and when you meet you will decide on some of these things. We have a lot of things that we want to do for nursing and this council would play a very important role in this regard,” Dr. Anthony said.

He added, “we are also going to embark on developing regulations so one of the things I would also like to see from this Council is to have maybe a subset of you work with us on a committee that would develop regulations to this legislation.”

He told the members that they have the support of the ministry on its many planned improvements for nursing care. He said that there are numerous nurses leaving the system and as a consequence, the system must now be in place to attract persons to the profession.

Expounding on the plans, Dr. Anthony said that as the Ministry of Health expands its hospital capacity, the programmes offered for nurses will follow, thereby providing multiple options for interested persons.

He further noted that the ministry is in discussions to have programmes available for nurses to become more qualified, enabling them to provide the best possible service that can be offered.

“I think some of you would have had training from the WHO [World Health Organization] collaborating Centre in Brazil. We have engaged them and they are right now designing a hybrid programme for Guyana for registered nursing,” Dr Anthony revealed.

He said that the ministry wants to have the programme commence in the coming months with a minimum of 500 persons to be enrolled.  This training could build capacity and help the nurses to be on par with the needs of the country, Dr. Anthony posited.

The Nurses and Midwives Act was tabled in April of this year and provides for the establishment of the Nurses and Midwives Council which will oversee the profession. The council is expected to have a close relationship with the health minister to speak on matters related to nursing personnel.

The members of the council are:

  • Nalinie Dass-Sutton- Chief Nursing Officer (ex officio)
  • Chandroutie Persaud- Representative, Health Services Education
  • Shivani Ramdihol- Director Nursing Services, GPHC
  • Noel Holder- Representative, Nursing Program, UOG
  • Donette Gullen- Representative, Guyana Nurses Association
  • Maria Francois- Representative, Midwives Association of Guyana
  • Dave Paguntalan- Representative, Private Nursing School (Texila American University)
  • Meshel Sampson-Williams- Representative, School of Nursing
  • Leta Hoodith- Midwife
  • Nicola Nero- Technical Officer, Ministry of Health
  • Debra Singh- Legal Representative, Ministry of Legal Affairs
  • Sharir Chan- Guyana Cancer Society –
  • Peggy Allicock- Registered Nurse
  • Banmattie Salim- Registered Nurse
  • Raheema Rahaman- Nursing Assistant
  • Chanmattie Persaud- Nursing Assistant
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