Health Minister John Boyce yesterday assured members of the Barbados Nurses Association (BNA) that the doors of the Ministry of Health are open to them and they should feel free to bring their concerns to the Ministry???s attention.

He was speaking at a seminar sponsored by the BNA as one of the activities for Nurses Week.

He noted that nurses were making critical contributions to all areas of health care delivery, and the Ministry was committed to providing opportunities for advancement, training and recruitment, as well as providing the necessary infrastructure to strengthen and improve the quality of service delivery.

However, the Health Minister reminded the nurses that they had a responsibility to engage in research and develop innovative models of healthcare delivery that would show evidence of nursing effectiveness in respect of planning, management and policy development.

???As nurses, you will continually be called upon to be innovative in your delivery of quality healthcare services; to advocate for your clients; and to educate the family units and communities in all aspects of healthcare,??? he said.

Mr. Boyce lauded the involvement of public health nurses in the 100 Improvements in Nursing Programme sponsored by the National Initiative for Service Excellence (NISE) last year.

He noted that nine of the 14 Government-operated health institutions participated and submitted 139 improvements in a range of areas, including customer service, process development, waste reduction and greening efforts. As a result, the Ministry of Health has been short-listed for national judging by the NISE team.

The Health Minister urged the nurses to turn challenges into opportunities by working hand in hand with Government to improve productivity, curtail wastage, promote evidence-based practices and agitate for written standards and protocol of care.

He disclosed that the Nursing Council of Barbados was actively pursuing the facilitation process for Continuing Professional Education credits as a requirement for re-registration. Draft guidelines for the implementation had been completed and this programme would be rolled out shortly, he added.

The seminar, which took place at the Hilton Barbados Resort, attracted health care professionals from the public and private sectors.

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