Calls are being made from within the health sector for government to get more locals trained in health services.
The calls are being made because of a staff shortage that is badly affecting the state-owned Peebles Hospital.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at the hospital, Paula Chester-Cumberbatch explained that the medical facility is even having trouble recruiting health professionals from other countries.
“We do need a sort of push where the H Lavity Stout Community College is concerned for the training of allied health staff, etcetera,” she said at a recovery plan public consultation with local health professionals yesterday.
The CEO went on to describe the staff shortage as a major issue; adding that some departments at the hospital are manned by one person.
“It is vital that something is done. There should be coordination in terms of our education sector [with the health sector].”
“The health services are personnel-driven and unfortunately, we had a few resignations post the hurricanes, and given the challenge for us to attract and retain [new staff]; losing one person is devastating,” Chester-Cumberbatch said.
Director of Nursing at the hospital, Gretchen Hodge-Penn also decried the staffing issue.
She said the hospital has always had trouble recruiting nurses. Hodge-Penn said another notable factor that contributes to the problem is the considerably long time it takes to import nurses from other countries.
“Since Irma, it’s become even worse. Since Irma, some have declined [to work in the BVI] because of the fact that the cost of living, as they compare it, is not going to make it. We don’t have residences to provide for them so why should they leave their country to come to ours?”
In responding to the concerns, Chairman of the Disaster Recovery Coordination Committee, Brodrick Penn pledged to look into the issue.