Minister of State in the Ministry of Health and Wellness, Hon. Juliet Cuthbert Flynn, has hailed the country’s nurses and midwives for their invaluable contribution to healthcare, particularly as the country battles the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
She said that they work in communities to improve immunisation coverage, sustain the fight against communicable and non-communicable diseases, reduce infant and maternal mortality, and improve the overall delivery of care.
“With your invaluable, ongoing support, the public health system will be able to deliver on good health outcomes for our patients and provide a positive and fulfilling work experience for those who offer care,” she noted, while addressing the virtual staging of the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife excellence awards ceremony on Thursday (December 10).
Mrs. Cuthbert Flynn said that as the year of global designation to nurses and midwives comes to a close “we continue to remain cognisant of the value of your work and contribution to Jamaica’s healthcare system”.
“You have made impacts on healthcare that will remain unmatched for years to come. The nation thanks you immensely for your kindness and your invaluable service to us and our families,” she added.
The State Minister congratulated the 35 awardees, who were honoured for their sterling contribution and service in their area of specialty.
She noted that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, health professionals have been working extra-long hours to maintain standards and bridge gaps within the sector.
To this end, she said the Ministry has sought to alleviate some of the mental strain and burden being faced by nurses and midwives, as well as other healthcare workers, by launching the $37-million staff welfare programme.
The programme aims to increase staff morale, reduce the effects of burnout, build staff capacity within facilities and boost the overall effectiveness and efficiency of service delivery.
“In the short-term, the Ministry will bolster the benefit package offered to our nurses to give more security of tenure and better housing arrangements. Our nurses and midwives are integral to the success of these efforts,” Mrs. Cuthbert Flynn said.
Chief Nursing Officer, Patricia Ingram Martin, encouraged the professionals to continue practising with excellence, integrity and the right attitude.
Responding on behalf of the awardees, Nichola Merritt, expressed gratitude for the recognition, noting that they will continue giving of their best while building on the successes of the trailblazers in the sector.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared 2020 as the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife, in honour of the bicentenary of the birth of the founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale, as well as to recognise the contributions they make, and the risks associated with nursing shortages.