Health Care in All Schools Critical – Region Four Director


Ministry of Education Region Four Director, Devon Ruddock has expressed the view that the employment, literacy and health care levels within a country are the determining factors towards how developed it is.
He said it is his opinion that health care is the most critical of the three, as it is the nucleus for any development. Mr. Ruddock was addressing the official opening ceremony of the School Nurses Special Interest Group, 5th Annual General Meeting and Health Education Conference, being held at the Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort, in Montego Bay, on Wednesday, March 26.
With this view in mind he said, “If we, as a nation, are to remain competitive in a highly hostile global environment, and even at the CARICOM level, we must address the issue of healthcare at the school level, it cannot go unnoticed. It is a very important issue if we are to produce students to compete on the world market”.
Mr. Ruddock underscored the importance and necessity of the role of the school nurse, pointing out that internationally this role is being viewed as a very important aspect of education policy. He says that developed countries are now ensuring that most, if not all of their schools have a nurse on staff.
The Regional Director emphasized that the Ministry is in full support of providing a limited level of primary health care intervention through school nurses, to ensure that students have access to initial treatment for minor and other injuries. He said that the ideal situation would be to have nurses in all schools, especially at the primary level, but the economic reality within which the education system operates was unable to facilitate such a provision.
With the current education policy ensuring that a nurse is in every secondary school, Mr. Ruddock expressed the hope that serious consideration is being given to having nurses at every level of the educational spectrum, under the education transformation initiative.
The conference ended yesterday (March 28) and is being staged under the theme ‘School Nurse: The person, the profession, the practice’. Several seminars and sessions were held over the three days, aimed at examining critical issues affecting the profession and looking at new trends.

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