Health Ministry in partnership to stop nurses from taking up overseas offers
The departure of local nurses from the profession is a growing problem that Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony hopes to counter through improvements in existing nursing programmes.
The Health Minister was a guest on the weekly webinar – Guyana Dialogue – last week when he said nurses are being recruited by foreign companies to work abroad and this has led to serious concerns locally over the attrition of nurses.
He said with limited nursing programmes in Guyana, the government is looking to enter partnerships to address the situation.
“Over the years we have been able to create a post graduate programme and it is attracting interest now, Caribbean countries send their doctors to Guyana to be trained.”
“Among nurses, however, we do have a problem because we have some countries that are coming into Guyana and doing active recruitment of our nurses. Generally, they will try to take our more experienced nurses,” the Health Minister said.
He explained that one of the offers is a package that includes travel for the entire family, making it difficult to keep these nurses here.
However, the minister added, “we are working to fix [the retention problem] I think a lot of countries have those types of issues.”
“We will have to see what kind of retention policies we can develop to make sure that we keep most of the nurses here.”
He added that, “With the transformation that is going to be happening in health and the types of things we are putting in the system…I don’t think that we are going to have people who are going to want to migrate as much because these opportunities are going to become very attractive as things roll out over the coming years.”
He said that several opportunities are being created in the country for health workers.
The Health Ministry, through partnerships with Mount Sinai, the World Health Organization (WHO) and York University, Canada, is trying to create programmes that will entice nurses. He explained that these partnerships will render assistance in strengthening the clinical sector.
Through a partnership with the WHO center in Brazil, Guyanese will be able to benefit from a nursing programme offered through a hybrid method. The minister said a team from the center will be visiting Guyana shortly to implement the programme.
“I think looking at the experience from other countries, this is a model that can allow us to scale up and train a lot of people faster and be able to replenish the system,” the minister said. He noted such training can help local nurses to graduate with Doctor of Philosophy (PHD) in nursing