THE Ministry of Health has temporarily suspended programmes being conducted at the Charles Rosa Nursing School in Region Ten (Upper Demerara-Berbice), citing issues of inequitable acceptance of students.
According to a press statement issued by the Ministry of Health on Wednesday, the school has been training mostly persons from Region Ten, while those residing in Regions One, Seven, Eight and Nine have only benefitted from “nominal” placements.
“This school, funded by the taxpayers of Guyana, is intended to train all eligible Guyanese who are desirous of pursuing a career in nursing,” the Health Ministry asserted.
A recent review of nursing personnel for all regions shows that Region Ten is the only region with an excess of 233 registered nurses and 106 registered nursing assistants. All other regions have a deficit for trained nursing staff.
The ministry’s statement also highlighted the intake patterns for the year 2019, involving Batches 64 and 65.
“With batch 64, there was an intake of 36 students for the Professional Nursing Programme, with 29 students [being] from Region Ten. All students from this batch will be graduating in 2021.
“With batch 65, there was 27 nursing professional students with 22 students [being] from Region Ten. This batch will be graduating in 2022. Between these two batches, an additional 51 nurses will be added to the staff of Region Ten,” the press statement noted.
The minister said too that the situation prevails even as many of the regions continue to operate with a notable deficit of nursing staff who are eligible for training at the Charles Rosa Nursing School.
“However, these students were excluded once again. Of an intake for batch 66, of 34 students, 24 are from Region Ten,” the ministry said.
As it relates to the Registered Nursing Assistants (RNA) class 17 which has an intake of 33, 21 students are from Region Ten.
“These two programmes, batch 66 and class 17 have been temporarily suspended to ensure that the intake of students reflects the regions where the Ministry of Health has the greatest need for nurses,” the ministry said.
The ministry further accused the A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance for Change (APNU+AFC) of peddling misinformation and seeking to politicize the situation.
“If the APNU+AFC had addressed the structural discrimination at the Charles Rosa Nursing School during its tenure, then students from Regions One, Seven, Eight and Nine would have had equitable access,” the statement said.
The Ministry of Health further assured all Guyanese that it would take the necessary corrective actions to ensure all the eligible students from the regions are granted access to the Charles Rosa Nursing School training programmes.
“We will review batch 66 and class 17 to balance the intake before classes can restart. We are confident that all right-thinking and fair-minded Guyanese will agree with this approach,” the statement concluded.