Government is moving to place the General Nursing Council currently located in Jemmotts Lane, St. Michael in a more suitable location.

This was disclosed recently by Minister of Health, Donville Inniss, while lauding nurses for their contribution to health care in Barbados at the 15th Eunice Gibson Memorial Lecture at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital’s Auditorium.

"We are aware that nurses represent a vital component of the global workforce, [their] sustainability, therefore, is of critical importance to us.?? Nurses represent a significant component of our human resource capacity in the health care system.?? It is, therefore, incumbent on any government to ensure that the nursing resources are sustainable," he said.

The Minister also pointed out that Government was aware of the challenges facing nurses locally, regionally and internationally, which included a shortage of personnel, migration from developing to developed countries, and a scarcity of registered nurses and nurse educators.

"In Barbados, there is a need for nurses with specialist qualifications, particularly in relation to the provision of acute care services, for instance at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, some units such as the Paediatric Intensive Care, Medical Intensive Care Unit and the Artificial Kidney Unit (AKU) have been expanded in response to the growing demand for these services.?? In addition, a High Dependency Unit has been recently established, adding to pressure here," Mr. Inniss admitted.

However, he pledged Government’s continued support to the profession and reiterated its commitment to providing the necessary assistance for them to carry out their roles in a safe, progressive and rewarding environment.

In the meantime, he urged nurses to remain dedicated to their jobs.?? "I am conscious of the fact that without the nursing profession as the backbone of health care, our overall goal of providing quality health care would not be attained.?? I thank particularly those who have been in the vanguard of the development of the profession in Barbados, as well as those who continue to contribute significantly to the development of nursing.

"Despite these challenges though, I urge you in the nursing profession to seek always to give excellent service, and to maintain standards set by such stalwarts in the profession as Eunice Gibson," the Health Minister advised.

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