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Slater: SVG can boast of a surplus of registered nurses

Slater: SVG can boast of a surplus of registered nurses


St Vincent and the Grenadines can boast about having a surplus of Registered Nurses, something other countries cannot say about themselves. This is the view of Minister of Health and the Environment Dr Douglas Slater.{{more}}

Dr Slater made this clear last Thursday at the 22nd annual SVG School of Nursing graduation and prize giving ceremony at the Faith Temple Church in New Montrose.

Slater said that Government’s policy of increasing the number of students trained for nursing has proven to be a success. The Health Minister added it was one of the largest graduating classes in the history of the country, and this is because of the deliberate polices of the Government.

About four years ago, Government embarked upon a programme of increasing the intake of Registered Nursing students as a means of managing poverty alleviation and migration. Dr Slater said that many doubted whether they could achieve this feat. “Since this policy was introduced in 2003, we have graduated over 300 nurses, and we have enough not for ourselves alone, but a surplus. This is an achievement in itself,” stated Slater.

Minister Slater went on to say that when the policy started, they would not have been able to hire all the nurses, but were aware of the shortage of nurses being experienced in the region and internationally. In response to this situation, the Minister said that a number of Vincentian nurses will soon get the opportunity to work in Barbados. “No Government will be able to provide 100% employment for their citizens. Now look we have Barbados, one of the leading countries in education and they are depending on us for nurses.”

Slater stated that there are ongoing talks with Trinidad and St Lucia to have some of the nurses work in those countries also. He further added that nurses would soon have the opportunity to travel to North America to work. (KW)