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Minister of Health, Horace Dalley, has commended nurse practitioners for their invaluable role in providing comprehensive clinical services and primary health care to underserved communities across Jamaica.
The Minister, in a speech read by Dr. Delroy Fray, Consulting Surgeon of the Cornwall Regional Hospital, at the Nurse Practitioners 30th anniversary and 54th seminar at the Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort in Montego Bay yesterday (July 4), noted that nurse practitioners were competent and caring professionals, who went beyond the call of duty when required.
Nurses, he noted further, were integral to the Healthy Lifestyle Programme, which empowered the individual to take control of his condition, while advocating behaviour change.
He urged them to continue to play their part in health promotion and health education. “As community health professionals, you must continue to play your part as our success as a country in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MGDs), which speaks to halting the spread and reducing HIV/AIDS, depends on how well we impact communities through quality education and care,” the Health Minister stated.
The nurse practitioners programme was implemented in 1977 to address the need to provide comprehensive clinical services to underserved communities and to augment the work of the community medical officer.
The first training programme was conducted by HOPE International and the Ministry of Health and was later transferred to the University of the West Indies School of Nursing where it was further developed into a master’s programme.
To date, a total of 372 nurse practitioners have been trained, 42 of whom are from other Caribbean countries.