The Government of Jamaica, through the Ministry of Health & Wellness, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Government of the United Kingdom to train 13 Critical Care Nurses, beginning next month.
The MOU was officially signed by Health & Wellness Minister, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton and Chief Medical Officer of the UK & Northern Ireland, Professor Sally Davies at the World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland on Thursday, May 23.
“Together we will begin to train nurses of the highest standard,” said Davies. “The nurses and patients will benefit and this MOU serves as a sign of the bond between both countries.”
In response, the Health & Wellness Minister expressed his gratitude for the collaboration.
“On behalf of the Government and people of Jamaica, we appreciate this initiative, which serves as a historic moment for both countries and nurses globally,” Tufton said. “We have started a programme that doesn’t exist anywhere else in the world, where an international nurses training programme to overcome challenge of faculty and clinical spaces,” he added.
The Ministry of Health & Wellness is seeking to double the number of trained Critical Care Nurses, which currently average between 18 and 20 per annum. In making his Sectoral presentation earlier this month, the Minister noted that as a short-term measure, the Government would pursue bilateral arrangements for the recruitment and training of healthcare professionals, including nurses. This is in order to combat the current shortage that faces the public health system.
He also noted that the intention is to expand the benefits to nurses by giving more security of tenure and expanding housing arrangements.
The 13 Registered Nurses and two Nurse Educators are now in the final stage of completing seven months of didactic training and clinical experience in Jamaica and will leave the island in June to complete five months of immersed clinical experience at the Leeds Teaching Hospital in the UK. The nurses will then be rotated across Intensive Care nursing sub-specialties. The participants will return to Jamaica in November for final examination and be retained in the local workforce for a period not less than two years.