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Nurses need help

Education programmes for nurses are becoming more expensive and the Barbados Nurses Association has called on Government to increase its subvention as a way to assist with the costs.

President Blondelle Mullin told the recent annual general meeting of the body that there had been a number of successes this year, ranging from Nurses Week to the 75th anniversary celebrations.

She noted that the BNA would continue to lobby Government and the Ministry of Health, “to increase the yearly subvention from $12,500”.

“Last year $17,000 was spent on educational programmes for nurses; with the increase in cost of programmes it is essential to have an increase in the subvention. Last year at our anniversary ball, the Minister of Health promised publicly to increase the subvention from the next financial year,” she told nurses and other health professionals at the function.

Mullin noted too that issues of the conditions of service still needed to be addressed, adding: “[While] the Ministry of Health has appointed health sisters at the polyclinics and sisters and senior sisters at QEH, … other nurses, especially nursing assistants at some of the other institutions are still frustrated over the long wait for appointments. The Minister of Health has promise to address this matter as well as payment of salaries in a timely manner at some of the institutions.”

The nursing profession also needed specialist nurses and nurse practitioners, she added and they would continue to lobby for such as well.

She said as well that she believed nurses needed to be rewarded and given accolades “for the sterling professional care given to clients to improve the health care of Barbados”.

“Of course we will continue to lobby for an increase in nurses to service all departments in the institutions. The BNA during this year will re-establish the Midwives Group as well as the Student Nurses Association,” she said.

To the body of nurses, Mullin said: “There were a few challenges over the past year but we have placed our confidence and trust in the Master and depend on him to give us the strength and determination to rise above the challenges and keep our focus.

“Due to the economic situation, sponsorship to assist with our activities have been very limited, so therefore some of our plans could not materialised due to this.

“Again, due to the workload at the institutions and the compliment of nurses in the departments, nurses could not be released to attend seminars, workshops and courses or assist with health fairs.

“The task could be so much easier if there were more hands on board. Please nurses spread the word about the activities of the Association and how nurses can benefit and encourage your colleagues to become involved,” she urged. (LB)

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