Health Minister, Mary Isaac, has echoed concerns raised in Guyana this week about the migration of nurses and midwives from the region.
The issue was raised during the 45th annual general meeting of the Regional Nursing Body (RBN), where a call was made for ‘urgent action’ to address the problem of experienced nurses and midwives leaving in ‘large numbers’.
“We are always concerned about the migration of our human resources,” Saint Lucia’s Health and Wellness Minister, Mary Isaac, told St Lucia Times in an interview Thursday.
Isaac noted that it costs a lot of money to train people.
“At the end of the day we do not get to use these people in our own institutions at home,” the minister observed.
She explained that the nursing brain drain was such a concern that it had been raised at the level of the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Isaac disclosed hat the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) is undertaking a study to determine the impact the migration of nurses is having on the Caribbean’s health care services.
“We are waiting for that study. We are hoping it will conclude in October so we can look at the statistics in terms of the numbers that are migrating.”
“We are trying to determine why they are migrating and what it is that can be done to prevent that migration,” the minister told St Lucia Times.
“Once the study is done, we will sit and strategise, because it will inform us in terms of the cause as well as what we can do to try and address the issue of the migration of our health care workers.”