The Nurses Association of Jamaica (NAJ) has expressed concern that Jamaica is losing a large number of its specialist nurses.
This, as hundreds of the nation’s public healthcare workers, migrate to other countries for better-paying work.
In Parliament last week, Health and Wellness Minister Dr. Christopher Tufton disclosed that since the pandemic began 2 years ago, more than seven hundred nurses have left for other countries.
Speaking with IRIE FM News NAJ President Patsy Edwards-Henry notes that while the issue of migration is not new, it remains a cause for concern, as Jamaica’s specialist nurses are taking their experiences elsewhere.
She explains that before the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of nurses leaving the country annually was approximately five hundred, but this figure has risen since 2021.
This, Mrs. Edwards-Henry states is due to the adjustment of certain requirements regarding the employment of nurses in other countries.
The NAJ President says in an attempt to offset the depleting number of Jamaican nurses, continuous training of new nurses is being conducted.
She notes, however, that this does not immediately address the issue regarding the reduction in experienced nurses.
She notes further that while training is being conducted, having employment opportunities for these new nurses remain a constant issue.
Mrs. Edwards-Henry points out that this too is a push factor for nurses who have migrated from Jamaica.