Basseterre, St. Kitts, May 12, 2020 (SKNIS): Since taking office in 2015, the Team Unity Government has been addressing the state of nursing in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis and has addressed several issues including a pay increase, says Minister of State, the Honourable Wendy Phipps, during her address at the May 12 National Emergency Operations Center (NEOC) COVID-19 Daily Briefing in celebration of International Nurses Day.
Minister Phipps stated that as early as 2016, the St. Christopher and Nevis Nurses and Midwives Council, the Ministry of Health, the Human Resources Department of the Civil Service and the nursing leadership within the community based and institution based healthcare settings have been addressing “several inherited anomalies and challenges that were clearly evident upon Team Unity taking office in 2015.”
“This process has included deliberations on the reclassification of certain nursing positions, recalibration of some pay scales, particularly among nurses who are singly or dually trained, analysis of local skills gaps with regards to specialised nursing in areas such as oncology, Intensive Care Unit (ICU), and neonatal care and the assessment of the legal and professional standing of graduate nurses, who have exhausted all attempts at sitting the licensure examination for nurse registration among other matters,” she said.
Minister Phipps noted that during the 2020 Budget Debate in December 2019, she supported the budgetary allocation to the Federal Ministry of Health, which included, after careful consideration, an increase in salaries and wages for nurses.
“I would have also announced at that time, that the total amount of funds earmarked for the pay raise under personal emoluments and wages in the budget document was EC $1,141,587,” she said. “I am advised that this budgeted increase in pay should be reflected in the salaries and wages of nurses from this month.”
The minister of stated added that the Federal Cabinet has also committed to continuing its engagement with the leadership of the nursing fraternity, the Nurses and Midwives Council and the Human Resource Department “in order to bring settlement to their aforementioned concerns of the nursing fraternity and nursing practice in general.”