Editorial

Filling The Health Sector

Filling The Health Sector

Questions have been circulating in the public domain regarding the intentions of the Ministry of Health to venture outside of Trinidad and Tobago to fill key positions within the health sector, including specialist doctors and nurses. The reason for this, according to the Minister, is that there has been little response to ads for doctors and attracting locals to fill these positions. Now we’re going to Cuba to find doctors, and the question remains – why aren’t there enough doctors right here? There is, according to the Minister, and it’s a case where theyrefuse to work in the public sector due to the terms and conditions.

We’re now hearing from the Government that if house officers turn down job offers in the local health sector they will be made to pay back their GATE funding. Essentially it’s a move to enforce the contract under which the doctors would have accessed GATE to fill the hundreds of positions that are available right here, right now. And with the Couva Hospital to come on stream soon, there may be more positions to fill there as well.

While we’re looking at the matter from outside, saying the doctors and nurses should be happy there are jobs available, we must also wonder about their own position, and why they would refuse to work under certain terms and conditions. The Minister claims primary healthcare doctors have been resisting work in rural areas. Or is it that they are being enticed by better paying jobs elsewhere, in foreign lands? We could only speculate at this point.

The issue of GATE repayment though is a serious one, where a contract was made between the student and the Government for the provision of funds for them to study medicine in this case.

We hope more can be done within the Ministry of Health and Government itself to better persuade local young professionals to stay and serve. Until then, we’ll soon be seeing many more Cuban health professionals in our health institutions.

Web Master

August 10th, 2018

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