JIS News

The House of Representatives yesterday (Nov. 2) began debate on amendments to the Nurses and Midwives Act, which makes provision for registered nurses, midwives and assistant nurses to be licensed as a prerequisite to the continuous practice of their profession.
Piloting the Bill, Minister of Health John Junor, explained that the validity of each licence issued would be for a period of two years during which time, each person would be required to participate in at least 60 hours per year of specified training as part of their continued education. The Bill also seeks to regularize certain aspects of the profession, particularly midwifery in keeping with modern and best practices.
While stating that the principle of the Bill was non-controversial, Opposition Spokesman on Health, Dr. Kenneth Baugh said, “our nurses are very busy people (and) to ask for 60 hours is really demanding. We don’t want to take away the nurses (from their duties). to spend in continued medical education”.
Minister Junor gave the undertaking to suspend the debate until the next sitting of Parliament pending a meeting between himself, Dr. Baugh and representatives of the Nursing Association of Jamaica regarding the issue of the required hours of training.
Under the Nurses and Midwives Act, nurses and midwives are registered for life, while assistant nurses are enrolled for life unless the registration or enrolment of such persons is suspended or their names struck off the register or roll.

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