Health minister Dr Fuad Khan thanked about 84 health care professionals “who made the sacrifice and the decision to assist us and boost the local shortage” at an orientation for foreign health care professionals from Grenada, Cuba and St Vincent and the Grenadines, at Radisson Hotel, Wrightson Road, Port of Spain, yesterday.
Among those present were Allan Alexander, who delivered the invocation and Ministry of Health’s Gina Joseph, director, corporate communications and David Constant, director international co-operation desk. They were also joined by Clarice Modeste Minister of Health and Social Security, Grenada.
Khan said: “I am so honoured and delighted to welcome you everyone. Government is well aware of the acute shortage of healthcare professionals. At present, there is the need for over 2,000 nurses and 200 doctors. We are battling dengue and we are hoping to keep chickv away. We thank you for accepting an offer where we have need.”
Khan added: “The Ministry is enduring a long wait to open the District Health Facility on a 24 hours basis. I recognise the sacrifices. I want to say thanks for your decision to assist us and to gain practical experience. I leave you my personal best wishes.”
Khan also said major works were being done at the Children’s Hospital, Couva, and at the Chronic Disease Centre, Penal. He said: “We are going to need more doctors and nurses to make them fully operational. Plans will be introduced to further increase capacity. We propose to increase health sector capacity and promotion of medical careers while providing more opportunities for people to be trained.”
Asked about the package for the nurses, Khan said: “It will be the same (for our nurses). We are providing accommodation.”
During Modeste’s contribution, she lauded the move as tangible evidence of Caricom integration. She said: “This is evidence our Caricom integration process is continuing to deliver tangible benefits, through the freedom of movement for our nurses. Grenada is pellucid these are tangible steps in our integration process that will deepen our sense of Caribbeaness, which continues to be yearned for by our people.”
She added: “Today has a dynamic of its own since it promises personal development for the nurses, enhances the delivery of health care and acts as an opportunity to speed up the transformation of the health sector.”