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Bahamas needs 528 nurses

The Bahamas is in dire need of 528 registered nurses and 140 trained clinical nurses, according to Director of Nursing Marcel Johnson.

The findings were made in a minute paper to Health Minister Dr. Duane Sands and the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Health on February 8.

“Please find attached nursing staff data for the Department of Public Health and Public Hospitals Authority up to 31 December 2017,” Johnson wrote.

“Note that 226 registered nurses are needed for the Department of Public Health and 302 are needed for Public Hospitals Authority.

“Additionally, 47 trained clinical nurses are needed for the Department of Public Health and 93 are needed for the Public Hospitals Authority.”

Last month, Sands said there was a critical shortage of nurses.

“The implications are that there are Bahamian patients who would wish to be in the intensive care unit, but they cannot be because we simply don’t have the manpower or the nursing support to care for them safely,” he said.

According to the data correlated by Johnson, up to December 2017 there were a total of 349 registered nurses and 98 clinically trained nurses in the Department of Public Health.

There were 753 registered nurses and 283 clinically trained nurses in the Public Hospitals Authority up to December 2017.

Compounding the issue is a critical shortage of beds at Princess Margaret Hospital.

Last month, Sands described the beds shortage as a crisis.

At the time, more than a dozen patients were admitted to hospital, but there were no beds in the hospital to accommodate them, a consequence of an increased number of boarders taking up beds and the more than 60 beds that were out of commission.

He said last week that the situation is improving.

“I was in conversation with the chairman of the Public Hospitals Authority Board and they believe the completion of construction and outfitting with new furniture and equipment, we are looking at about two months,” he said.

“That will dramatically reduce the backlog of patients in the emergency department. That is the first ward to be completed.”


Travis Cartwright-Carroll

Assistant Editor at The Nassau Guardian
Travis Cartwright-Carroll is the assistant editor. He covers a wide range of national issues. He joined The Nassau Guardian in 2011 as a copy editor before shifting to reporting. He was promoted to assistant news editor in December 2018.
Education: College of The Bahamas, English

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