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  • Health Minister, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, is scheduled to visit the United Kingdom (UK) within the next two weeks to conclude arrangements to facilitate clinical training for Jamaican registered nurses at hospitals in that country.
  • This, he said, forms part of the Government’s undertaking to expand the cadre in the eight categories of specialist nurses serving the public health system, which is 70 per cent short of the requisite complement in some instances.
  • Dr Tufton said Jamaica’s public health system requires eight categories of specialist nurses in order to facilitate optimal administration of public healthcare services.

Health Minister, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, is scheduled to visit the United Kingdom (UK) within the next two weeks to conclude arrangements to facilitate clinical training for Jamaican registered nurses at hospitals in that country.

This, he said, forms part of the Government’s undertaking to expand the cadre in the eight categories of specialist nurses serving the public health system, which is 70 per cent short of the requisite complement in some instances.

Dr. Tufton said the arrangements will also include an exchange programme which will see the nurses working in Jamaica and the UK after completing their clinical training, adding that a similar collaboration is being pursued with Cuba.

The Minister was speaking at the opening healthcare plenary session of the Jamaica 55 Diaspora Conference, at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston, today (July 24), which focused on the theme: ‘Caring our Human Capital’.

Dr Tufton said Jamaica’s public health system requires eight categories of specialist nurses in order to facilitate optimal administration of public healthcare services.

These, he indicated, include nurses for operating theatres, intensive care and psychiatric services, among other critical areas.

Noting that these categories are in “high demand internationally,” Dr. Tufton said invariably, many locally trained nurses “exercise the option to go abroad,” thereby creating vacancies in the healthcare system.

While acknowledging queries and suggestions in relation to training more nurses locally, for which classroom tutorials can be facilitated, the Minister indicated that “we do not have enough infrastructure in the hospitals…to support clinical training.”

Consequently, he added, the Administration has opted to forge partnerships with the Governments of other countries, such as the UK and Cuba, that will facilitate exchanges incorporating clinical training in health institutions.

“We have no difficulty training or exporting. But we need to train more (to meet local demand), and that requires collaboration,” Dr. Tufton emphasised.

The biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference is being held from July 23 to 27 under the theme: ‘Partnering for Growth’.

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