In an effort to fill nurse shortages at the BVI Health Services Authority (BVIHSA) in 2023, the [British] Virgin Islands will now be turning to new countries for nurses, Minister for Health and Social Development, Hon Marlon A. Penn (R8) has revealed.
Hon Malone made the announcement during yesterday’s November 15, 2022, Eighth Sitting of the Fourth Session of the Fourth House of Assembly (HoA) at Save the Seed Energy Centre in Duff's Bottom. His statement was in response to questions from Opposition Member Hon Carvin Malone (AL).
According to Hon Penn, securing adequate technical and professional staffing for the BVI Health Services Authority continues to present a challenge as the VI still has to compete with the rest of the world to not only recruit but also retain well-trained and motivated staff.
“Several countries have resorted to offering significant inducement, including increases in compensation and benefits, and immigration incentives in order to recruit from the market, that has shrunk considerably since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
He said in response to those complex challenges, the BVI Health Service Authority has therefore put a number of steps in place, including entering into an agreement with the Cuban Health Authority for the extended deployment of a limited number of positions, specialists and nursing staff for the next year.
Hon Malone made the announcement during
yesterday’s November 15, 2022, Eighth Sitting of the Fourth Session of
the Fourth House of Assembly in response to questions from Opposition
Member, Hon Carvin Malone (AL).
New Markets being explored - Hon Penn
“New markets for nurse recruitment are actively being explored, including Ghana and the Philippines, as nursing shortages are the most pressing concern at this time,” he related.
Hon Penn detailed that retention initiatives are also being reviewed by the BVIHSA Board for all clinical and allied health staff to ensure that trained staff can be retained while operating within the budget limits.
Hon Penn added, “and staff training arrangements are being expanded in collaboration with HLSCC to provide ongoing professional development opportunities for allied health professionals and other technical staff in order to build capacity among existing staff.”
In response, Opposition Member Hon Malone said he supported the initiatives to retain, train and seek staff for the VI’s health sector.