Nurse Resignations Affecting Saint Lucia Health Care

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Felix St Hill, has disclosed that up to two nurses on average are quitting Saint Lucia’s health service every week.

And he says it is affecting primary and secondary health care.

“The fact is that in the past we used to get one or two nurses per month, but now it is almost like one or two nurses per week,” St Hill told St Lucia Times.

Felix St Hill

He explained that like other Caribbean countries and small developing countries, Saint Lucia is facing a problem of the migration of nurses.

“But I think the good thing about Saint Lucia is that we have a number of nurses who are unemployed,” St Hill stated.

He recalled that some time ago in excess of 175 Saint Lucia nurses were trained in Cuba.

“These nurses, while quite a bit of them have been employed, there is still a large number that has been unemployed,” St Hill told St Lucia Times.

“So what we do is as soon as we get the issue of the resignation of  the nurses, we send recommendations to the public service commission for replacement of those nurses almost seamlessly.”

“As soon as I get resignations from two nurses and we send that to the public service commission to say that these nurses have resigned and we need to replace them, then we get a resignation from another two,” he noted.

According to St Hill, this is not only affecting the secondary care unit at Victoria Hospital, but also the primary care unit where there are 33 wellness centres located throughout the Island.

The P.S explained that local nurses, including experienced ones, are opting to take up employment in the developed countries rather than stay at home.

St Hill said the conditions of service and the salaries offered must be more attractive in order to lure them.

But he pointed out that the problem is not limited to the labour market for nurses.

“This is probably affecting all kinds of professions within the Caribbean,” the senior Health Ministry official asserted.




  1. He was the one who told the nurses that he can call nurses from Cuba to work.. He said one phone call he forgot

  2. That guy is an ssa. He’s saying your’ll lovely nurses are replaceable its an attractive salary to lure yourll.boss man people shouldn’t be lured.give the people what they worth.

  3. Blame chastnent for threatening to have all of them resign andr reapply for contracts. We never had an idiotic pm like this

  4. pure crap when the PS had a meeting for nurses and nurses/midwives told him that they go to school for an extra 18 moths and they pay to became midwives you have to pay for your license every year they work in the midwife capacity but they still get paid the same salary as nurses who just left school he said aby nurse can deliver a baby and government don’t have money to pay midwives…….the disrespect……the next week he took out all the nurses/midwives from maternity and spread them about the hospital. Nurses who have worked maternity for years……..I am Cuban trained and I’ve earned my spot I did my RENR exam and passed it just like any other I’m a midwife now and no longer in St.Lucia because it’s almost 6 years an I could not gain a post with public service…..internal contract……sessions…..chupzzzzz….and it is true especially ICU and meternity experienced nurses are out these are specialized fields these new nurses are lost sheep there. They don’t bring their loved ones to VH so they don’t give a dam……God has a special place for y’all……wicked people…if the job is overwhelming leave it ask for assistance people lives are at stake and for those wondering I can count at least 20+ experienced nurses that have left VH and many more to leave

    • you are so right. I am cuban trained as well. Worked for 6 years as a sessional nurse, did my midwifery never got appointed. i have no regrets that i left, the benefits over here are wayy better. And the bonus is, u practice nursing the right and proper way. No short cuts because of lack of resources. You maintain the dignity, respect and safety of your patients always. You learn to appreciate your job and not feel overwhelmed by the demands and the treatment that you receive from other staff, especially because of where you were trained. My dream was to become a nurse and to help others in the best way that i can BUT i could not achieve this in Saint Lucia… change is needed in Lucia

  5. After the treatment from the Ministry of Health, Government and some of the public. I don’t blame them, why be abused from everyone and not even get full-time employment at a under-paying job?

  6. They damn right especially the ICU nurses. When Tapion have dying patients they send them to VH ICU so they don’t get the death statistic on their record. That’s overload on VH plus VH patients can’t get surgery done because they use the theater as an ICU. It is not fair after Tapion collect all their big money and is VH patients have to wait for surgery

    • Very tru. Vh is a manufacturing place for all medical stuff for doctors to take. The same doctors workin vh workin tapion and on the board at the new hospital. Why u fink the new hospital ehh open yet? Cuz tapion won’t make money ofcorse.wat we ehh know bigger dan us.

      • everything that goes on in the ‘GOVERNMENT’ is bigger than us!!! Just another form of Modern Slavery, both mentally and physically.

  7. Been to VH..after that experience,I wish they would leave sooner. Let’s give some new nurses a chance.

  8. While all this is going on there are nurses begging to be employed and some who are employed are well qualified and not permanent. They are short paid thousands as a result of not being permanent and the very nurses who sits in offices on their behalf do nothing to help. They make the nurses believe they don’t need them and they fight poor young nurses who are their very colleagues. Now to hear this from PS just shows how wicked people can be, as much as the government system is at fault the nurses who sits in high places to represent nurses are equally evil. Nurses who have worked in positions for years can’t become permanent and losing thousands and their friends and family they find ways for government to employ them right after school. I hope they read this and digest it cause the nation already know the government is at fault but don’t know about those nurses who makes all the monies who sit in offices who are like evil dictators. They know themselves high time the ministry investigate them just like they take millions to investigate St Jude’s building it will take less than that to investigate the crooks and wicked ones who fight the nurses even more than the government do. Come on now untold stories let’s get going get to the bottom of this make those witches talk who pretend to be for nurses but instead they destroy their colleagues dreams and aspirations. In the process the nation suffers and we get sick, remember you all bodies are just as fragile and not immune to sickness. Careful careful careful God is alive and well

    • My dear, don’t you believe in punctuations other than full stop? Makes it difficult to read your comment. Nonetheless, I understand where you are coming from and I do agree with you about the “nurses” in the ministry. I know one of them is like a terrorist and who believes she is a god. Additionally, the Nursing Association is a dismal failure especially since the “leader” is a sell out and a UWP political HACK. In my opinion, this association is the weakest of all bargaining agents.

    • Someone posted a comment stating that the nurses should leave so new nurses can replace them. How do you think the new nurses are going to react when they are in the same situation these nurses are in. In life you will always find good and bad employees, but when you do not have the neccessary tools to do a proper job do you blame the nurses. I have friends who are nurses and ive heard the stories it stems from the poor healthcare system that we have and the mismanagement of it

  9. It’s very interesting to read such news. Nurses are leaving for many reasons. And as much as it is great that the new nurses will gain employment. It is also going to hurt the government far worse in the future when law suits will be coming left right and center. The new nurses are to be trained and supervised by experienced nurses. With no experienced nurses to teach them how will this end? If you thought health care here is bad I look forward to hearing what will be said next year. Tan toe tan toe.

    • Lawsuits from who? You ever see doctor testify against doctor here? Or lawyer vs lawyer? Or cop vs cop? That will never happen.

  10. The Nurses are frustrated with how they are treated at work by the head of Nursing department. They fail to promote the nurses even after they do post grad. They were very bias with who they promoted. Nurses with over 5-12 years of experience left the ICU at a level one Nurse. This is heartbreaking. ICU has two ward managers and the rest of the staff are level one nurses. Why were some nurses (Clinical resource nursing clan) skipped from level one to level three or from level two to ward Manager? The Nursing administrator is also responsible for Nurses leaving VH. The Nurse managers treat nurses like children, they try to intimidate you when you speak out. There are some Managers that will never assist staff nurses when they are overwhelmed with work, they just sit around doing paper work that the staff nurse did already. You can tell these people do not care about people. Team work makes the dream work. When Scholarships come out through the Ministry of Health, only the nurse managers and the clinical resource nurses are privy to it. Most of the time when they pass the notice (scholarship information) on the units, the deadline is like 2 days away. Enough is enough!! Nurses you guys deserve better.

  11. Its nice to hear from the nurse’s perspective for once. If you are able please go get better employment else. The Government doesnt care about your well being or the country for that matter

  12. Nurses are an essential part of society and good ones should be applauded and treated well. Whilst it is true that the government seems to be swindling money for their own pockets and those on their side, there may not be enough money to offer the incentives that good nurses deserve. Are we willing to pay more tax so that nurses can live as those in the U.S.A, U.K. and elsewhere live? Truth be told at the time when England required nursing many took it upon themselves to studying nursing just to enter the U.K. to work and live not for the passion of helping others. so regardless of what treatment they would receive in their home country their sights were somewhere else and I cannot blame them.
    My issue is with horrible nurses like those i encountered who when my mom was sick and hospitalized gave her hell. I would come and find that my mom would be lying in urine when she was not incompetent but rather unable to get up and go to the toilet. She told us at nights they would be talking loud and when she asked the nurses to tone it down a bit…one replied I will fix you up in creole. My mom got bed sores whilst at the hospital. She contracted chikungunya or so they said (when we asked for a medical report her files went missing) back in 2005. I have been to the hospital and seen patients asking for help whilst the nurses sit at the station chatting and laughing and have had to aid the person(s) with their request (water, movement, etc). I heard two nurses back from training in Asia explain patient centered care and had to laugh because it was nothing as what it should be. One nurse at one time brought my mom medicine i will call solo and the doctor repeated solo? to which she said yes then AA AA and went to get the correct thing. Thank God that doctor was there because if he wasn’t i would not know that she was going to receive the wrong medicine. I was hospitalized three times in a year during to pregnancy and was given the form of penicillin even tho my charts states i am allergic,,,,,had the I.V. in the wrong vein which caused a clot….had a cleaner turned ward maid who congrats to her studied health aid take blood from my new born baby without my permission because nurses were busy. i was not lactating after the c-section and the baby was hungry,,,sugar dropping……..They may be simple rantings to you but all life threatening in my eyes and many many more stories. Medical students were feeding my aunt and the nurses were at the station. i came and allowed them time to complete their tasks, they left and i stood there thinking but there is no movement,,,,my aunt was dead!
    Nurses by all means you have your future ahead of you and that of your loved ones better yourselves. Come back and train the younger inexperienced ones please. Learn what is person centered care treat each individual as an individual and not wake up its 6 a.m. etc etc Take all the rotten eggs with you please stop blaming it on the party in power or the building you in. The hospital in the south had mizee bed sheets selling but i had to sleep on one for days because of lack of sheets! Anyone wishing to improve the well being of others kindly study nursing and be the best you can be treat the patient as you would like to be treated. Government stop giving the jabals animals to rear, and incentives they squander and invest in the people please.

    • DRed—-GUess Who, have you ever stop for a moment to think that if the wards were not understaffed that your experience would be different? Do you really expect high levels of excellence from demoralized workers?

  13. VH nurses are the worse most inhumane people i have ever come across. *spits on ground* the ones I am referring to know your selves. I hope karma gets all of you that deserve it for all the wrongs you have committed. Good riddance, I dont know why anyone would want to employ them anywhere else.

  14. The strength of a nation is usually gauge by the health of its subject. The government should be paying a good living wage and provide reasonable decent working conditions to these people. Loosing nurses to resignations relates to a systematic problem that needs addressing or the cycle will continue unabated. The pain, as usual, is felt by the people and not the decision makers. The government from the start has not given the attention to health care since tourism has been their focus from the start. Tourism is revenue and health care is expenses. That in itself should be an indication of how this government thinks about its people. The same poor people that help pay these politicians and their minions exorbitant salaries. Loosing experience nurses in the long run and having to train new nurses will cost a lot more than giving an increase in pay and better working conditions. It’s a mistake to think that one can focus on tourism, without having the basic essentials like healthcare, to keep the people healthy to service this industry

  15. Is this the reason there was ONLY ONE NURSE, AND NO DOCTOR, at St. Jude Hospital, in the emergency room?????????? Doc showed up after 5 hours of waiting , did not matter as they did not have ANY beds for their emergency patients anyway.

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