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Health Minister assures discrepancy with nurses’ salary increases being sorted

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Despite major salary increases for nurses announced at the end of last year, Health Minister Dr. Frank Anthony has said some discrepancies have prevented nurses in Region Five from benefiting. In December 2022 President Dr. Irfaan Ali announced massive salary adjustments for healthcare professionals and nurses across the board. This significant move signaled the government commitment to providing nurses with adequate remuneration.

However, on Monday, Dr. Anthony acknowledged that some nurses are yet to benefit from the adjustment. He insisted that these discrepancies will be sorted. “I understand that in some of the regions there might be a few discrepancies and if there are those, we need to address them.

“Recently I was in Region Five and I understand that there are a number of nurses although this [the salary adjustment] has been passed several months now, persons are not getting the appropriate salary increase. “If there is anybody who is having these deficits we need to fix them and as quickly as possible,” the Health Minister told attendees at the Regional Health Officers meeting on Monday.

The increase for nurses announced last year are as follows:

• Nurse Aides and Patient Care Assistants will now have their current minimum salary adjusted upwards from $80,892 to $100,000. This represents an additional 23.6 percent increase on the current minimum salary paid to each worker.

• Nursing Assistants will now have their current minimum salary adjusted upwards from $88,525 to $115,000. This represents an additional 29.9 percent increase on the current minimum salary paid to a Nursing Assistant.

• Midwives will now have their current minimum salary adjusted upwards from $96,974 to $169,438. This represents an additional 74.7 percent increase on the current minimum salary paid to a Midwife.

• Staff Nurses will now have their current minimum salary adjusted upwards from $111,628 to $169,438. This represents an additional 51.8 percent increase on the current minimum salary paid to a Staff Nurse.

• Staff Nurses/Midwives will now have their current minimum salary adjusted upwards from $127,963 to $195,000. This represents an additional 52.4 percent increase on the current minimum salary paid to a Staff Nurse/Midwife.

The increase followed multiple calls for better conditions for nurses and the shortage of nurses due to them migrating to different countries for work. Dr. Anthony said the nurses must benefit from this significant adjustment.

The government also outlined plans for improving the profession of nurses, a major component of which includes a mass training programme and the specialization of more nurses and intends to train 1,000 people annually through an expanded nursing programme that started this year. Despite the efforts to retain nurses, the numbers are dwindling and Dr Ali last week announced that the country is looking to Cuba for some short-term support.

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