The Ministry of Health has effectively turned away financial assistance being offered to develop the struggling public health sector.
The Social Security Board (SSB) is offering scholarships to train locals in health services but, according to SSB Director Antoinette Skelton, the ministry has not taken up the offer.
“You have an entity (the SSB) who says ‘we see that there is a need for help’. But, the help is not being taken. I have no other way to put it,” Skelton said.
She explained: “A few years ago, the SSB started offering nursing scholarships… We went as far as to engage the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Education, and the BVI Health Services Authority.”
While speaking in earshot of a high-ranking official from the Ministry of Health, Skelton further said that the SSB recently revised its scholarship policies and that the SSB’s offer still stands.
However, the official from the health ministry declined to respond.
The ministry’s failure to accept assistance comes at a time when management at the state-owned Peebles Hospital has called on government to train more locals in health-related fields to service the chronically understaffed medical facility.
It is said that some departments at the hospital are manned by one person.
Hospital management report that it is has become increasingly difficult to recruit and maintain staff.
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