The Deputy Speaker of the Bahamas House of Assembly has urged skilled Caribbean nationals to stay in the region as a means of halting the brain drain.
As reported by Barbados Today, Donald Saunders made the remarks while addressing students, administrators and others at the University of the West Indies Cave Hill, Barbados.
According to the publication, he encouraged skilled nationals of the region to stay within the region rather than going to North America and elsewhere to earn a living.
He cited the number of nurses leaving The Bahamas for more profitable endeavors and warned of the impact of such losses.
“If you’re going to move from Barbados, move to Trinidad. If you’re going to move from Trinidad, move to The Bahamas. If you’re going to move from St Lucia, move to Grenada. Let’s keep this UWI educational experience in the Caribbean,” The Bahamian official was quoted as saying.
Recent research has found that in the Caribbean, the percent of tertiary educated persons that emigrate ranks among the highest in the world.
One area in Saint Lucia where the brain drain is a cause for concern is nursing.
Earlier this year, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Felix St Hill, disclosed that up to two nurses on average are quitting Saint Lucia’s health service every week.
And he said it was 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.