Pres. Ali urges Canada to set up training centres for nurses in Guyana


By Sharda Bacchus


The shortage of nurses and medical workers is a constraint faced in the Caribbean at large and to address this, President Dr Irfaan Ali is encouraging Canadian institutions in this field to establish centres in Guyana so that nurses can be trained and accredited.

The Head of State made the call on Thursday night as he delivered the keynote address at a reception held at the Canadian High Commissioner’s residence to celebrate Canada Day 2023.

“I want to position Guyana as an important destination for the provision of regional human resource assets to meet the skill deficit of countries around the region and here is where I think there is a tremendous opportunity for Canada and Guyana,” President Ali said.

He added, “So…we encourage Canadian accredited institutions to establish their footprint in Guyana for the training of nurses to meet your own demand, for the training of medical technicians to meet your own demand and also to meet the regional demand which includes our own demand.”

The collaboration, President Ali said, could directly address the shortage of nurses and workers in the medical field faced by not only the Caribbean Community but also Canada.

“Many of the fields are very technical fields, specialized fields. Many of the fields are in areas where Guyana and the CARICOM region are also facing tremendous difficulty.

“This is an area in which CARICOM as a region is severely challenged…the cycle in the movement of labour, we see more attractive markets attracting our medical workers (and) our nurses, leaving a deficit in our system and then within CARICOM itself, the more attractive markets would pull from within the system leaving further deficit in some countries,” he explained.

As such, the President said it is vital for Guyana and Canada to examine the human resource constraints being faced.

President Dr. Irfaan Ali at the Canada Day Reception (Photo: DPI/ July 13, 2023)

According to President Ali, discussions will be held with the country’s development partners in having the nursing institutions here accredited to Canadian standards.

“I believe that if our nurses are good enough to be recruited from the training they receive right here and within CARICOM, we are good enough to sell that service to the rest of the world and that is a business opportunity that we are working on…to create in Guyana an avenue for global training and global education as an export earner,” President Ali said.

In light of the economic growth being experienced, there has been an increase in demand for workers in various sectors.

And while the government has been making efforts to address this, it has also engaged its development partners in the region and internationally for assistance in filling the gaps.

Just on Wednesday, President Ali told a press conference that with a shortage of healthcare workers, Guyana is looking to Cuba to provide short-term support by supplying some nurses.

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