Minister of Health and Wellness Jeffrey Bostic (Picture by Reco Moore)
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Accusing Barbadians of being xenophobic sometimes, Minister of Health and Wellness Jeffrey Bostic has urged nurses to welcome their Ghanaian counterparts to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) with open arms.
His plea came while delivering remarks at the QEH’s annual Rewarding Excellent Service Promotes Employee Commitment and Teamwork (RESPECT) Awards at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre on Saturday night.
He said between mid-January and February next year, when the QEH is due to receive several nurses from Ghana, staff should do unto “others as you would have others do unto you”.
“Based on the reports I have received, these nurses are highly qualified, they are articulate and they really have something to offer to the people of Barbados. But the experience that they have while residing here and working in Barbados depends on the people in this room to a large extent. And, regrettably, my countrymen and women sometimes tend to be very xenophobic.”
Bostic added: “Barbadians have gone all over the world, in all professions working and the Good Book tells me that you should do to others as you would have others do unto you. How you make those nurses feel in terms of integrating into this society and this culture is going to be fundamental to the level of service that they provide for our country. I would like for you to embrace them and make them feel welcome.
“There are things that you can learn from them and undoubtedly things they will learn from you and it will redound to the benefit of this country. So let us do what we can to make sure the experience they have while in Barbados is a positive one and a good one,” he implored.
The minister expressed optimism that the additional staff would resolve some of the problems associated with human resource provision, which he said was the greatest issue facing the 55-year-old hospital.
Another major priority for his ministry in 2020 was slashing the wait time for surgeries, Bostic said, adding this would be the true measure of his tenure as Minister of Health.
“I want to say it is not right and we, as the QEH and the Ministry of Health, cannot feel satisfied knowing that we are going to bed every night and there are hundreds and thousands of Barbadians waiting for surgeries of one kind or another.
“And if we want to feel good and feel proud about what we are doing, then we have to address this issue; we have to do something about this problem.” (SDB Media)