Salary a major issue for nurses in Dominica says Rosie Felix

File photo of student nurses in Dominica

President of the Dominica Nursing Association (DNA), Rosie Felix, has said that salary is a major issue for nurses who are leaving Dominica in droves.

She noted that it is the reason why nurses are leaving the island to seek employment elsewhere.

“Salary takes up 50 percent of the problem and the other 50 percent, a combination of problems,” she stated. “It is a fact that nurses are leaving for better salary abroad.”

According to Felix, a nurse migrating to a neighboring island gets a start-off salary of $5,000.

“Our top nurse, her start-off salary is below $5,000,” she stated.

She said some time ago a job consultancy exercise here in Dominica recommended a significant increase for nurses but that document has been pushed aside.

“A few years ago, the Caribbean Center for Developmental Administration did a job consultancy exercise here and DNA, we were pushing for that along with the unions and other stakeholders,” she said. “The consultants recommended or justified, basically, that nurses do need a salary upgrade and they recommended a significant salary upgrade. This document and this recommendation have been put aside, cast aside, so nurses continue to work for less than we really need at this time.

She remarked that what nurses want is “professional pay for professional work.”

“Nurses will tell you when they go to the bank, the bankers are telling them to get a husband so they could get a loan together because their salary is not enough for them to secure a house loan or land loan,” Felix said.

Figures from the Ministry of Health show some 14 nurses including retirees departed the island since Hurricane Maria devastated Dominica last September.

In 2017, a total of 14 nurses including retirees also left the island.

This is a total of 28 nurses and officials fear this could have an impact on health services in Dominica.

Health Minister, Dr. Kenneth Darroux, said on a recent radio program that the nursing service in Dominica is ‘fast nearing critical levels’ but some people are making it appear worse than it really is.

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  1. Affected nurse
    April 25, 2018

    As a nurse here in Dominica i must say it takes a very strong individual to continue working with those conditions. I am positive. I do what i do with a passion. I am jealous of my profession but honestly something has to be done about the treatment we receive. No health insurance. No incentives no coverage on job injuries. 250 allowance for a nurse working 24 hours 7 days a week , when the working week should be 40 hours. I mean be considerate. 2225 for a start off salary as a registered nurse. A community health aide gets 1900 meanibg that i as the qualified nurse with a bsn in nursing working for 300 more. This is rediculous. Nurses will continue to leave as long as this is the workibg conditions.

    • April 27, 2018

      No nurse works 24 hours 7 days a week, how can you write such rubbish. Stop worrying about what others are getting everyone needs a decent wage.

      • IKnow
        May 2, 2018

        Yes,there are nurses who work 24 hours a day! And some who only get one weekend off a month because there are no other nurses to share the load!

  2. we are watching you
    April 25, 2018

    Politicians do not care about nurse shortage because when they get sick they just jump on a government provided plane or helicopter and go to one of the French islands for care using Taxpayers money.

  3. ManiCou
    April 25, 2018

    I know of some people who have the opportunity to leave Domininca but chose to stay. They chose to sacrifice for country. What is disheartening is when some have to give up and leave because of political infighting and victimization. Some of us do love Dominica and want to live there but the life one can live, and the opportunities available, overseas is a draw. It’s not always about money, sometimes it’s about the opportunity available for your children in another country.

  4. Me
    April 25, 2018

    Wait 5000 + is what a specialized doctor “consultant” gets all around the Caribbean. Yes plus other duties less tax, so what. Stop comparison with USA, we are in the Caribbean. If salary revision, please do to ALL health professionals; Yes …. motivation needed. We have not only nurses, we had lost few doctors went to Jamaica, St Lucia even England. We had local x-ray techs who left with anger by the way they were treated and it been ok to MOH. After salary increased, we expecting them to keep their shape, do continue medical education, keep updated, etc. Where is the new bill for the medical act ? Need rules and regulation to work with humans. please, come on.

  5. jim john
    April 25, 2018

    am a nurse in the us and i brinig home after tax 3100 every 2 weeks

    • ED
      May 30, 2018

      I am CNA in the US and I make more than a Nurse back home in two weeks the system needs to upgrade

  6. Ibo France
    April 24, 2018

    You cannot expect the best from any professional or employee when their salaries or wages are forcing them to live in pauperdom. The governing party seems to have this philosophy of keeping the people destitute so they will always come to the government with hands outstretched, begging for their breakfast, lunch and dinner. In this way, the people can be easily manipulated. This is the classic case of dependency syndrome strategy. Every time the beleaguered public servants try to negotiate for a reasonable and well deserved pay increase, Skerrit ignores, threatens or rejects their cries. The striking port workers were greeted with military style, heavily armed police, the nurses totally ignored, the other public servants summarily rejected when they all pleaded for a raise to their skeleton wages and salaries. Yet, his ‘do nothing’, grossly unfit, overly arrogant government ministers are living high off the hog. How much more should the citizens take? Skerrit and his minions should…

  7. Lady
    April 24, 2018

    Well everyone complaining about the lack of hospitality they receiving from these nurses. its like the y don’t really want to be there helping people. People fraid to even go hospital because they dont want to hear their business on the road after. and when something happens and somebody report it they cover for each other a lot, and a lot of Dominicans can testify to that. I know another commenter is going to find something wrong with what i just wrote, but everybody cannot be telling d same lie about the hospital personnel. So why should they get more money in that case?

  8. entel
    April 24, 2018

    The Dominican public need to understand that if nurses leaving was not an issue for Dominica, other countries would not welcome nurses with open hands, we need to know the value of what we have. We in Dominica must think of a brain drain country what its like.
    Government is not bothered with nurses leaving cause when they fall sick helicopter taking them from their office to overseas med centre, they never taste what it is like to work with frustrated overworked nurses, although some nurses can hide their frustration real good. They can always send for foreign nurses whose heart will not go the extra mile but just enjoy our Dominica.

  9. Davido
    April 24, 2018

    Them nurses need to learn how to make a sacrifice for the country! Do they not love Dominica? Dominica does not have money right now to pay you all more so just stop all you nonsense and let us all work together with our beloved PM to make a better country.

    • Mwen mem!!
      April 27, 2018

      Love of country and you hungry??

  10. Tobby
    April 24, 2018

    Really nurses, police men and teachers starting salary should be no less than 3500 ec after tax, but the gvnt do not care about these sets of people. I sure none of the gvnmt ministers not working for 2000 ec because they will not accept it. And I really vex with these gvnt and passed because they only for them self I don’t know why salaries are so low in some of those carribean countries is like all of them holding one head. All who get the opportunity yo leave to better themselves leave. The only thing with overseas though u will have to buy everything including water.

  11. April 24, 2018

    More of Skerrit’s commess :-D

  12. April 24, 2018

    I have to say a starting salary for a nurse in Dominica is $2000+ monthly is not that bad , in my neck of the woods an RN gets 3000+US dollars monthly after taxes. Some of the nurses have to work 2 jobs to make ends meet. In Dominica these people live over their means to much. When they leave they still have to take up 2 jobs. The rent alone becomes a problem financially. Am not saying they don’t need a little more but please stop complaining so much. You guys should see how hard nurses work overseas . In Dominica from what I see , Half of the nurses are so lazy and lack hospitality .

    • Mwen mem!!
      April 24, 2018

      U should stay in ur country n work, c how u would fare out with that salary, bills, children to feed n transportation fees plus the working environment isn’t the best….we can only talk bad about it if we’re not directly affected by it

      • April 25, 2018

        A valid point you present there !!!

    • Elf
      April 24, 2018

      So why you doe come Dominica and do nursing seeing as it would be so much better for you?? All you just like to stay overseas and blarjay!!! Are you Dominican?? If so why are you overseas?? Dominica sweet and the salary is JUST RIGHT so come and enjoy it nuh. If not then hush your r**s and let those who feel it speak on it. Saquay toneh!!!

      • April 25, 2018

        Totally agree !!

    • Me-Aloe
      April 24, 2018

      @Nursie , where the hell in the U.S do you work for such low salary a month? Maybe you are a nurse’s aide, NOT an RN. Just say that, we will understand. There are different categories in the nursing industry( Nurse’s aides, License practicing Nurse (LPN) and Registered Nurse (RN). Also there is another higher level of nursing; Nurse Practioner or something like that….correct me if I’m wrong.

    • Night Nurse
      April 24, 2018

      You are properly talking about Nursing Assitants. A NEW Registered Nurse with NO experience in the US starts of with about $6000 plus per month. An experienced nurse can make double that amount. Speaking from experience as a nurse in the US. Just giving you correct information straight from the source.

    • Me Alone
      April 25, 2018

      Nursie,, apparently you are dreaming.. i ould like you to quote your source of info. There is a big difference between 2000 ECD before taxes and 3000 USD after taxes…. I am sure beside your 3000 USD, u have you insurance paid, your have allowance, you have opportunities, you have a respect of human right and lot of things that boost your salary…. you are just talking out of ignorance… And you should come here and show nurses how to work if only you are one…..

  13. April 24, 2018

    Instead of implying more police each year, while those that are in the corrupted police force cannot have a pay rise while the cost of living is increasing, this is something to think about. An ecclesiastical minister is appointed even after such a devastation to the country which is not needed at all, in other words, it is another scam to get more ballots from churchgoers to secure the seat of the present governing party.We need to get our priorities straight in Dominica, if a doctor can leave behind medicine to become a politician it is not for the love of his country but, for the love of money, What is better than seeing that your citizens are in good health? Some Dominicans who are voting must wake up and smell the coffee.This political party has no idea of what should be done first on the list. There are fewer people stopping work due to age, whereas the country has no growth and relies on exterior loans and donations to pay workers.This is already a big failure.Skerrit must go.

  14. April 24, 2018

    Have nurses or other professionals ever stopped migrating? For as long as I can remember nurses teachers, doctors and other professionals are always seeking work outside of Dominica because of higher salaries , so what is the fuss about, it will continue to happen. It is all about the money!

    • Looter
      April 24, 2018

      this is by far the dumbest thing i have ever heard. my god have mercy on your soul. :(

      • April 24, 2018

        Looter, I just stated a simple fact don’t blame me if you wasted your school time that now hinders you from seperating fact from fiction. Lil, what critical thinking ? Professionals are leaving for economic reasons pure and simple. It is all about the money, so it hypocrisy to make a fuss when we know that professionals migrate mainly for economic reasons and that is nothing new. For years Cuban doctors have replaced local health workers who have migrated to greener pastures, if you haven’t realized it as yet we are already suffering the consequences of the departure of trained professionals.

    • Lil
      April 24, 2018

      Fact, apply critical thinking skills the the issue and then you will be able to understand ‘what … the fuss” is really about. It’s not difficult to understand and to understand the consequences of this trend.

    • Mishie
      April 25, 2018

      I completely agree. This has always happened and will continue to happen because people are looking out for their well being and that of their families. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that. People leave other countries to come to Dominica for job opportunities so let the nurses, police officers, teachers etc. leave as they please. The role of the government is not to keep citizens locked in a country, that’s absurd. If the opportunity is in Dominica take it, but if it is somewhere else go for it. I will add though that leaving your country to establish roots in another country is not an easy process and it takes some time to get acclimated before you get to the point where you are doing better than you were at “home”. So, plan well before you leave and then go do good somewhere else.

  15. JBaptiste
    April 24, 2018

    ‘”fast nearing critical levels’ but some people are making it appear worse than it really is” Darroux.
    You only need to read this slowly in your mind.
    Last year a chief engineer said a bridge was “partially compromised”

  16. zandoli
    April 24, 2018

    Well, so much for the minister of health saying money was not an aggravating factor leading to the departure of nurses. That made no sense to me then. With enough money, one can accomplish many things, including enticing people do work in places and professions they would otherwise not want to work in.

    Let’s just say, if the work opportunities and income were high enough, Dominica’s population would be at least double what it is today. I for one would be enjoying the sunshine in DA.

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