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Government of Jamaica

NHF FUNDS COMPREHENSIVE TRAINING PLAN VALUED AT $200 MILLION FOR THE MINISTRY OF HEALTH

NHF FUNDS COMPREHENSIVE TRAINING PLAN VALUED AT $200 MILLION FOR THE MINISTRY OF HEALTH

The National Health Fund has approved a grant of over J$200 million to fund a comprehensive training programme submitted by the Ministry of Health, MOH, for the period 2004-2008. The plan incorporates various activities and programmes in fifty-three areas. It will offer training and development opportunities to a wide cross-section of Health Professionals and Support Staff in fields where there are critical shortages. Among the most critical categories are entry level nurses, midwives, pharmacists, environmental health officers, nutritionists and dieticians, radiation technologists and cytologists.

The Grant is also being used to support the re-opening of the Spanish Town Midwifery School. Training of the first group of midwives commences this month (April 2005) with approximately 23 direct entry students. The school will strengthen the Ministry?s ?Safe Motherhood? thrust and help Jamaica meet the World Health Millennium Development Goal for improved maternal health.

The NHF grant of J$11.4 million is being used for the refurbishing of the school building and for the purchase of resource material, equipment and furniture.

Support for post graduate training in specialist areas is also high on the priority list especially for specialist nurses in the areas of community health, family and mental health practitioners, oncology, renal nursing, nursing education and critical care nursing.

As part of the training of critical care nurses, fifteen students together with three academic staff members were sponsored by the NHF grant to the MOH, for a one week practicum at the Intensive Care Units of the Jackson?s Memorial Hospital, Miami Florida. Students are expected to utilize knowledge and experience gained to improve quality care in assigned areas in Jamaica.

The NHF grant to the MOH will strengthen the training and development of staff as part of a retention strategy to adequately address the health needs of the public.

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