Patient care at GPHC under strain after 146 nurses resigned in 2023


A total of 146 nurses resigned from the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) in 2023, an unfortunate situation that significantly impacted the institution’s ability to treat patients efficiently.

According to GPHC’s Chief Executive Officer Robbie Rambarran, the hospital has an overall deficit of 600 nurses needed for optimum patient care.

During a press conference on Thursday, Rambarran confirmed that 146 nurses resigned from the hospital this year.

Some 107 nurses resigned in 2022 and this means the hospital has to work aggressively to get more nurses employed immediately.

Rambarran said in order to meet industry standards for nursing services, some 600 nurses would need to be hired to have one on one and in some cases four nurses for one patient care executed.

At this time, the hospital is relying on the Ministry of Health to seek out nurses from Cuba for short-term support, as was proposed by President Dr Irfaan Ali.

“We have 33 Cuban nurses who are in the system…we have a deficit of about 55 per cent in our direct nursing care that is maybe about 600 nurses we need and this is to take industry standard,” the Chief Executive Officer said.

Director of the Nursing Service, Leslyn Holder (Photo: News Room/ December 28, 2023)

Director of the Nursing Service, Leslyn Holder said there were a total of 896 nurses at the hospital at the beginning of the year and only 881 remained.

She explained that optimal healthcare for patients during their hospital stay is being affected.

“We had 146 resignations, there are gaps in the following areas as it relates to patient care; Daily staffing at various wards and units and this can as a result [affect] key components of care activities of daily living.

“That is where additional support is needed for patients,” Holder said.

Northwell Health Centre in New York and Mount Sinai have partnerships with the hospital through which the nursing department receives support to redesign a model of care aimed at strengthening the delivery of nursing services.

The hospital is supportive of nurses with fine-tuning their skills through training and education. There is also support for post graduate programmes – neonatology, emergency, cardiology- available for nurses who want to participate. And there is a Daisy award competition for nurses who are exceptional in service delivery.

Even so, the country is grappling with a nurse shortage and the government is training 1,000 people annually through an expanded nursing programme that started this year.

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