Health Minister Announces $1 Million Short Term Training Programme


Minister of Health and Environment, Rudyard Spencer, has announced a $1 million training programme, specifically designed to undertake short term training of a cadre of workers who will support the team of highly skilled health workers who are in the system.
He also pointed out that the Ministry would train over 500 of these persons at a cost of $100 million with funding support from the National Health Fund (NHF).
The Minister said the training would target patient care assistants; lab technician assistants; medical records technicians; pharmacy technicians; psychiatric aides; operating theatre technicians and anaesthetic technicians.
Mr. Spencer was making his contribution to the 2008/09 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives, today (June 3).
The training is part of the Ministry’s National Health Workforce Development Plan to be implemented this financial year.
There is a global shortage of health workers and the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that there are 59.8 million health workers and a shortage of 4.3 million worldwide.
Mr. Spencer said Jamaica was short of over 1,660 based on its cadre, but the shortage was much more severe given the population size and epidemiological profile.
“The shortage is acute in some areas, such as pharmacy, and if not addressed in the short term, will result in grave consequences for the health sector,” the Minister pointed out.

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