Health care workers  appreciated at  ceremony of excellence
Staff Nurse Samantha Clarke Codougan of the Buccament Polyclinic (right) receiving her certificate from Sister Julie Russell, Senior Nursing Officer, Community Nursing Services
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May 13, 2022

Health care workers appreciated at ceremony of excellence

The Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment on May 7, held an awards ceremony to provide tokens of appreciation to various categories of health care workers.

Ward Manager Sister Gailan Williams (left) receiving her certificate from Medical Officer of Health Dr Roger Duncan

The Community Health Services Award of Excellence cocktail ceremony, which was held at the residence of the prime minister recognised these workers “for their hard work and for going beyond the call of duty, especially during the outbreak of the COVID- 19 pandemic and the eruption of La Soufriere volcano,” a release from the Agency for Public Information (API) states.

Medical officer of Health, Dr. Roger Duncan said the ceremony was not enough to repay the health care workers for their hard work, but it was a tangible way for the ministry to show appreciation.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Cuthbert Knights also echoed the sentiments of appreciation noting that the workers blossomed during the pandemic and showed immense courage. He urged them to continue to work in unison for the betterment of the health care sector.

And, minister of health, St Clair Prince noted that there are many dedicated health care professionals whose work go unrecognised and this is an opportunity for them to feel appreciated especially having gone through the Soufriere eruptions and still worked through the pandemic.

Prime Minister, Dr Ralph Gonsalves speaking at the event explained that many times health care providers are blamed for issues over which they have no control and insisted that health is a shared responsibility for which people must take individual responsibility and accountability.

Gonsalves said the government remains committed to nurses and quality nursing education, providing trainees with stipends so they can get their professional education. He pointed out that it is this same education which gives them opportunities regionally and internationally but at the same time, the government has to ensure that there are sufficient nurses to meet demands locally.

He added that the health care system has many successes; that primary health care is accessible and free with 39 clinics and three polyclinics; there is one hundred per cent immunisation of children under the age of five years; and the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital is the hub for the World Paediatric Project for the OECS where consultations and surgeries are done for children.

Gonsalves said the Smart Hospitals and the Modern Medical and Diagnostic Centre at Georgetown are all hallmarks of the health sector and though there are gaps at the tertiary health care level, the 82-million-dollar, state of the art, Acute Referral Hospital will fill that gap. Construction of the hospital is scheduled to commence in January, 2023.

The awards ceremony is the first in a series of events to recognise health care workers in SVG.