JIS News

A National Health Workforce Development Plan is to be completed this financial year to provide the strategic and policy frameworks for the training, recruitment, remuneration and retention of health workers in the public health sector.
This was announced today (June 3), by Minister of Health and Environment, Rudyard Spencer during his contribution in the 2008/09 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives.
He explained that the workforce development plan was part of strategies to address the shortage of health workers in Jamaica.
Other strategies include developing a proposal for more direct investment in training and support of health workers and working with professional groups to pursue a more efficient use of existing resources, such as engaging in task shifting and developing career incentives to encourage service in rural/remote areas.
“Even as we seek to implement those strategic measures, we will continue to support the 545 health workers who are now being trained and funded by the National Health Fund. We now have 171 Registered Nurses in training, which will cost us $33.38 million,” Mr. Spencer said.
“In addition, we have 21 Direct Entry Midwives, 40 Community Health Nurses, 29 Medical Technologists and 65 Pharmacists in training. Since 2004, the Government of Jamaica has spent over $204 million to train health workers and has committed a further $142.47 million,” he added.
Mr. Spencer also noted that the Ministry would continue to source workers from outside of Jamaica. This year, the country would benefit from 92 health workers from Cuba, some of whom would be engaged in training, he pointed out.