More nurses needed says Ministry of Health official

Royer said more nurses are needed in the healthcare system
Royer said more nurses are needed in the healthcare system

As Dominica celebrates Nurses Appreciation Day, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Helen Royer, has expressed the need for more nurses in the healthcare system.

At a ceremony on Friday morning, she revealed that despite the government’s efforts to ensure the improvement and welfare of nurses, the void remains, due to increased demands brought about by the changing dynamics of healthcare.

“In the year 2010, the government approved 94 nursing positions, at the request of the Ministry. This was facilitated by our then-honourable Minister (Julius) Timothy,” Royer noted. “Notwithstanding, we continue to have a lag and we continue to have a void for more nurses because the dynamics of health has changed.”

However, she assured that the Ministry will remain committed to providing avenues for nurses’ motivation and development.

“While there is a void and there is a gap, we have delivered,” she said. “We will continue, however to explore other methods to help in the motivation of nurses in the nursing service, and improvement in their professional and personal development.”

Royer cited the remuneration of nurses with specialized posts to basic training, the purchasing of necessary equipment to improve healthcare, refurbishment of health facilities, and the funding post-graduate studies for nurses at all levels, as evidence of the Ministry’s commitment to the workforce.

Meanwhile, Liaison Officer in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Martin Christmas, underscored what he described as the “unique” role of nurses in healthcare.
“Nurses are at the very heart of healthcare. They have more direct contact with patients and with their families than any other healthcare professional,” he articulated. “Their responsibility for the well-being of the patient and their family remains critical. Their role in healthcare is quite unique.”

Departments of the Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH), district hospitals, and several nurses, both active and retired, were recognized for their service on Friday morning.

Florestine Lewis and Caesarina Ferrol were given special commendation by the Ministry of Health.

Jolly’s Pharmacy Ltd. and J. Astaphan & Co. Ltd. were recognized as sponsors of the many tokens.

Nurses Appreciation Day was celebrated under the theme “Nurses: A Force for Change: Improving Health Systems’ Resilience,” and is part of Nurses’ Week, which is celebrated to commemorate the birthday of Florence Nightingale.

Nightingale, who is recognized as the founder of modern nursing, was born on May 12, 1820.

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  1. Chemutai david
    June 28, 2017

    Ur complaining of shortage of nurses but many are unemployed.U7 since 1990 up to now With this inflation, no one is concerned about their pay.when they go out you complain for example those who succeeded to go and work in Libya.God should rescue nurses.we are suffering .

  2. May 17, 2016

    There are serious health and safety issues all over the country which should be solved before asking for more nurses ..To make matters worse the majority of the nurses travel from the country side to Roseau ..The salary is not enough ,which makes it less attractive .it is better to work then move forward ,than work and move backwards when you cannot make end meet.Bus fees are quite expensive,nurses must eat ,while most of them have children and old parents to take care of. The monthly salary was $400.00 as monthly salary when I left school ,the bus fee was $2.00 per day , hence the reason why I refused totally to become a nurse.
    My best friend left nursing in Dominica and got a cleaning job overseas for much more money than her nursing salary .Nursing is a valued job but the salary must be attractive.

  3. Mary Jane
    May 15, 2016

    The minister of health is asking for more nurses. What has happened to all the young ladies who qualified as nurses two years ago? I will answer my own question, they are all unemployed who left Dominica for better pasture are. You all seems to be training them for another country but not for Dominica because there is no work.

    • Intelligent Citizen
      May 17, 2016

      I need to find you just to shake your hand, I agree completely!! :)

  4. Doctors are responsible for the diagnosis and direct treatment of the sick.

    Nurses sometimes share in the treatment and are involved in the long term recovery and follow up. When the doctor has made his (her) contribution responsibilities are often rolled over to the nurse. This is especially visible in hospitals.

    In Canada we are seeing a shortage of doctors. Some tell us they are not accepting new patients. Fewer and fewer will make house calls like they did in the years gone by. Some duties that should be done by doctors are being forced upon nurses. To make matters worse the Ontario government is allotting less money to hospitals to pay nurses. In one city we have just seen a general hospital dismiss over 30 nurses.

    It is encouraging to learn of better nursing education being made available, and in general to know there are those who are promoting the profession.

    Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill. Evangelist.

  5. Dignity
    May 13, 2016

    As a former nurse, what have you done to improve conditions for the nurses since your tenure as PS? Too many of us forget where we came from. There will continue to be a shortage because remuneration packages are more attractive elsewhere.

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