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Health CEO looking at ways to keep nurses in Belize

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Posted: Thursday, February 21, 2019. 9:34 am CST.

Posted: Thursday, February 21, 2019. 9:30 a.m. CST.

By BBN Staff: Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Ramon Figueroa, said that the ministry is placing a renewed focus on keeping trained nurses working in Belize.

Speaking at the launch of the Ministry’s new Human Resource Strategic plan for 2019-2024, Figueroa stressed that Belize is feeling the effects of a global phenomenon in which developed countries are recruiting nurses from developing countries. Figueroa noted that Belizean nurses are getting lucrative offers to work in the United States and in the United Kingdom, which puts a strain on the health system which is already running on fewer nurses than it should be.

 

Figueroa said that the MOH will be looking at innovative ways to keep nurses happier on the job and thus more likely to remain in Belize than seek work abroad.

“It doesn’t necessarily have to do with money. We could never compete with the salaries they offer abroad but we could find other ways, a good working environment, being more sensitive to their needs and the challenges that they face, improving their working conditions. There are a lot of ways that we can make it easier for people to stay where they are,” Figueroa said.

According to the Nurses and Midwives Council, Belize has around 520 registered nurses qualified at varying levels; however, a study published earlier this year by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) says that the country will need some 2,000 nurses by the year

  1. With the demand on nurses set to quadruple in the coming years, the MOH is hard pressed to coin those innovative measures as quickly as possible.

 

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