JIS News

Twenty-eight Nigerian nurses arrived in the island on November 2 as part of the bilateral agreement between the Jamaican and Nigerian Governments on the Technical Aid Corps (TAC) Scheme to bring heath professionals to Jamaica to assist in areas where there are critical shortages.
Two other nurses are also expected to arrive in Jamaica at a later date, as visa requirements were not completed in time for their departure.
The nurses are expected to fill positions within three of the four Regional Health Authorities, which indicated a need for them. They are the Southern, Western, and South-East Regional Health Authorities.
Director of Human Resource Management and Corporate Services in the Ministry of Health, Gail Hudson, told JIS News that the nurses were here to work in areas where they are most needed.
Under the TAC Scheme, which was signed in August 2002, the Nigerian government upon the request of the Jamaican government agreed to send medical volunteers to the island for a period of two years.
Outlined in the terms of the agreement is that the Nigerian government will be responsible for the cost of transporting the volunteers to and from Jamaica and also the appropriate allowances for the maintenance of each volunteer during the period of assignment.
The Jamaican government is obligated to provide suitable accommodation for each volunteer during the period as well as pay utility bills, offer free medical treatment as required, and suitable transportation to and from their place of work.
The nurses form part of a contingent of 110 medical personnel expected to arrive under the agreement, which will also include pharmacists, physiotherapists and radiographers.
In June of last year 43 nurses, some of whom are trained in midwifery, psychiatry and paediatrics, were placed in health facilities across the island.They were the first among the expected contingent to be processed to work in Jamaica, three years after the agreement was signed.
In order to participate under the initiative the Nigerian volunteers send in their particulars through the Nigerian High Commission, which subsequently pass them on to the respective local councils such as nursing and pharmacy, among others, for perusal.
Transcripts were also requested from various institutions where these persons were trained so that they could be registered and obtain a license to work in the country. The agreement also provides for the Health Ministry to offer employment to any of the volunteers at the end of the two-year period. A reception to welcome the nurses was held yesterday (Nov. 3) at the Medallion Hall Hotel.