Minister of Health and Wellness, Lt. Col. Jeffrey Bostic, announced on Monday that Barbados has established an embassy in Ghana and the opening is scheduled for October.
The announcement came at a luncheon hosted by the Queen Elizabeth Hospital to welcome 49 Ghanaian nurses, who have been assigned to the institution. The nurses are part of a 95-member contingent on a two-year-assignment in Barbados to help bolster the island’s nursing complement.
Their specialities include paediatrics, ophthalmology, surgical intensive care, and accident and emergency.
Acknowledging the cultural and historical bonds between Barbados and the African continent, the Minister shared that there were further plans to establish another embassy in Nairobi, Kenya.
“This is a very serious undertaking by the Government of Barbados to really have those connections and those ties, and to cement something that should have been cemented really several years ago,” he told the visitors.
The Government Minister further disclosed that negotiations had begun to establish a direct air route between Barbados and Ghana.
Meanwhile, he welcomed the nurses to the healthcare system in Barbados, noting that theirs would be a vital role in a system, which though “very good”, lacked sufficient human resources.
“And even with your presence here, we are still short of nurses. It is a global problem and we have suffered, but we don’t intend to suffer for too long because we are taking some steps to make sure that we establish some sort of a nursing school in this country that would allow us to produce more nurses, some for export and some for here in Barbados,” he revealed.
Lt. Col. Bostic urged the Ghanaian and local nurses who attended the luncheon to work hand-in-hand to ensure the success of the project.
“No one has a monopoly on knowledge or experience, but the collective wisdom of the persons in this room working together to deliver the highest level of health care to the people of Barbados, that is going to speak volumes for the relationship between Ghana and Barbados going forward,” he maintained.
The Health and Wellness Minister told the Ghanaians: “This is a beautiful country, but like all countries, not every single thing is going to be to your liking and you will come up on challenges from time to time, but you must fight those challenges based on the fact that you should recognise that this is your ancestral home in the Americas.
“You must fight any obstacles of criticisms with your professional conduct and the delivery of high quality professional medical services to the people of Barbados.”