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VI needs health care workers to ‘come back home’- Hon Carvin Malone

VI needs health care workers to ‘come back home’- Hon Carvin Malone

The Ministry of Health in the Virgin Islands has made a desperate call for persons to take up multiple job opportunities in the territory’s healthcare system and is also calling on Virgin Islanders trained in the medical field, but residing overseas, to return and serve their home country.

“We need persons, we need persons trained, and we need our people to basically, come back home,” stressed Minister for Health and Social Development Honourable Carvin Malone (AL).

The urgent need for human resources in the sector locally was re-emphasised during the VIP Let’s Talk show on ZBVI 780 AM last night January 18, 2022.

Brain drain

“We have a challenge throughout the world when it comes to medical assistance, because the developed countries are stealing away, so to speak, brain drain, persons who have been trained in their various places and this is creating a particular issue when it comes to maintaining some of the staff needed,” said Hon Malone.

He added that the VI has put out a particular programme where locals who are inclined to go into the health services at any level can do so, “because folks think that if you go into health you are gone in as a doctor or a nurse only, but there are so many opportunities in health, that you can do.”

The Health Minister noted; however, that healthcare workers are indispensable but other countries are demanding their services and offering attractive packages.

“So we have to do whatever we could to encourage our people to be trained in the services and we are working together with H. Lavity Stoutt Community College (HLSCC) we are working together with the education department in making sure that we look in terms of returning the nursing programme and to a number of other programmes that we intend to put in the field so then we can get our people trained.”

Minister for Health and Social Development Honourable Carvin Malone (AL) said the Virgin Islands needs its people who are trained medical professionals to return home to serve.

Attracting medical professionals

Asked by moderator of the show, Minister for Transportation, Works and Utilities Honourable Kye M. Rymer (R5) what is Government doing to encourage medical professionals abroad to return, Hon Malone responded that this is being looked at.

“Well there are two or three ways because we have come to know that taking up your salaries alone wouldn’t do it because America prints money so they can always up your 20, 30, 40 percent or so but the BVI is not a bad place to live, it’s a great place to live so we would have to work with all of the disciplines, the ministry of Education, the Ministry of Labour and Immigration to make sure that we can offer incentives to people who would like to put their roots here, offer their services here and they are not here because they have some US dollars to make but they are here because they would like to make here, the Virgin Islands, their homes.”

He said that currently Government is training some 9 to 13 persons to be First Responders, “And we will have more of this programme going on that we can get our people trained right here, right now.”


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