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UK announces global nursing partnership with Jamaica

HEALTHCARE: Nurses from Jamaica will work in the NHS for three years under a new scheme

THE UK government has announced a new partnership with Jamaica that will see nurses from the Caribbean island work in the NHS for three years.

Under the new scheme, nurses from Jamaica will undertake work placements in the UK facilitated by Health Education England in areas such as emergency medicine and intensive care.

Following the completion of their placements, the nurses are expected to return to Jamaica so that they can share their new skills, knowledge and experience in their home country.

NHS staff will also have the opportunity to travel to Jamaica to share their expertise with the Jamaican health service and help them to improve their care.

Stephen Barclay, the minister of state for health, said: “I’m delighted that we’re partnering with Jamaica in this scheme, which will build on our existing collaboration with India, and further demonstrates the Government’s commitment to forging new international relationships in preparation for the UK to leave the European Union.”

The aim of the partnership is to support the Jamaican government in “improving the capability and capacity of their nursing workforce”, a statement on the UK government’s website says.

However, critics of the recruitment of Jamaican nurses by foreign countries such as the UK say that it has increased the country’s underdevelopment.

Chris Tufton, Jamaica’s minister of health, said: “We have given a lot and have felt we have not been given back a lot in return and a manifestation of that has come out in the Windrush issue.”

A senior ICU nurse at the University Hospital of the West Indies told Channel 4 News that when she graduated there were more than 80 nurses in her cohort but she knew of only “four persons left in Jamaica”.

Her observations were also echoed by another senior nurse who said that she would be surprised if there were 10 members of her class of 54 nurses in 2000 still in Jamaica.

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