Among those who participated in the programme were registered and dental nurses and midwives from several hospitals and health centres across the island, including the Mandeville Regional and St. Ann’s Bay Hospitals, the University Hospital of the West Indies and the Bustamante Hospital for Children.
At the graduation ceremony, held at the Knutsford Court Hotel, in Kingston, on July 2, Health Minister, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson, commended the graduates for their role in contributing to the advancement of universal access to health (UAH) and universal health coverage (UHC).
“(In the health sector), measures are constantly being put in place to provide comprehensive, appropriate and timely accessible and affordable quality health services, especially to vulnerable groups,” he said.
The Minister pointed out that the areas of focus will greatly reduce the burden on the health system in tackling non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
“Through your areas of specialization, you have strategically positioned yourselves to significantly propel us in the continuum…The priority areas include the comprehensive and integrated management of NCDs and injuries, which will increasingly demand the services of all our specialist nurses represented here,” he said.
Meanwhile, Chief Nursing Officer in the Ministry of Health, Marva Lawson-Byfield, encouraged the nurses to contribute to building the national health sector by applying the skills they have acquired.
“Graduates, I want to encourage you to be mindful of the investments made in you. The Ministry of Health is mindful of the inconveniences the institutions had to undergo, as you went off to enlarge your knowledge and skills to give greater service,” she said.
Mrs. Lawson-Byfield further noted that the retention of specialist nurses is one of the biggest challenges facing the nursing administration.
“In the face of primary health care renewal, including the Centres of Excellence, the Ministry of Health is struggling to find ways of providing safer, better quality care with the already limited resources,” she told the graduates.
The In-Service Education Unit, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, is part of the Manpower Planning and Development Division of the Ministry of Health, responsible for the education and training of health care workers.
The training was funded by the Ministry of Health, the European Union and the Culture, Health, Arts, Sports and Education (CHASE) Fund.
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