Minister of Health proposes flexible work contract options for nurses | News
Health and Welfare Minister Dr Christopher Tufton suggests that nurses looking for overseas job opportunities opt for flexible contracts that will allow them to continue working in Jamaica.
“I would like to see the day… when a nurse can work in Miami for three months and come back to Jamaica and work for two months… and I am ready as a minister to put in place a policy to put pressure on the hospital to Miami or England where 130 nurses migrated to last year…and tell the UK government or Miami hospital give them a flexible contract let them work up there and work here because we need them…and we know you need them too,” he said.
Tufton was speaking at the International Nurses Day and National Nurses Week launch press conference held at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel in St Andrew’s on Thursday.
The health minister claimed that this and other flexible arrangements “(are) and must be the future” of healthcare.
“I would like to see the day and we are working on it where a nurse can study at University Hospital of the West Indies in the classroom and go to a hospital in Miami to do a clinical rotation… We collaborate around training because the truth there is a shortage everywhere,” he said.
Tufton stressed that “there is a larger vision at play” that will need to be crafted to retain Jamaican healthcare workers, particularly nurses.
He recalled that the Government is in the process of setting up a digital health information system to improve efficiency; and the construction of infrastructure for hospitals and health centers on the island that will improve the working environment for health workers.
“What that’s going to mean in principle is that we want to get more people into positions in the system, not contract positions, permanent positions so that they work more predictably around working hours (where ) they have time to do other things including rest and they have safeguards around job security. It’s going to make a better…more efficient (nurse/healthcare worker),” said Tufton.
He added that “we are building on the challenges of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and building for a brighter future and a more resilient health system, and you (nurses) are likely…to be the greatest beneficiary and rightly so”.
– JIS News