KINGSTON — Minister of Health, Hon. Rudyard Spencer, says the Government will be recruiting an additional 56 health care workers from Cuba next month, to boost the capacity of the sector.
“We have a tremendous shortage (of health care workers) worldwide, not just in Jamaica…this is why the Ministry of Health has entered into an arrangement with the Cuban Government,” he said.
He was speaking on Thursday August 25 at the official reopening of the Seaview Gardens Health Centre in Kingston.
He noted that a team from the Ministry visited Cuba last month and interviewed a batch of more than 200 nurses, from which 114 will be selected. These nurses, with various specialities, will be placed in both primary and secondary care systems.
He noted that the workers already recruited have been “doing extremely well”, adding that the Cubans have been especially proficient in terms of the service offered at the Jamaica/Cuba Ophthalmology Centre, at the St. Joseph’s Hospital in Kingston.
Mr. Spencer pointed out that, within the first two months of operation, over 1,500 patients were treated at the centre, and it is facilitating persons with eye problems who otherwise would have had to travel to Cuba for treatment.
The Seaview Gardens Health Centre was reopened after renovation works, undertaken at a cost of $9.8 million, under the National Health Fund’s (NHF) $300 million programme to rehabilitate health centres, islandwide. Renovations included repairs to the nurses’ cottage, water proofing of the roof, painting, roofing of the waiting area, repairs to bathrooms, installing kitchen cupboards and paving the parking area.
By Alecia Smith, JIS Reporter