Prime Minister, Dr. the Right Honourable Keith Mitchell has been talking healthcare with officials of the Caribbean Nurses Organisation (CNO) who visited Grenada recently. The officials were here to jumpstart preparations for their 2020 biennial conference which will be held in Grenada, decades after the organisation held its first meeting here.
During a courtesy call on the Prime Minister, the CNO officials spoke at length about developments and challenges in the healthcare sector.
Dr. Mitchell cited a need for all health services to be integrated, noting that those in the sector should not continue to operate in silos.
He said, “We recognise that there are challenges in health sectors across the Caribbean. We are investing enormous amounts of money but we must now look closely at how this is being utilised to ensure that we are optimising these investments. Health care should not be marginalised and the responsibility is on all parties to provide the best service possible.”
Dr. Mitchell noted too that providing adequate healthcare goes beyond basic proficiency and medical knowledge. He said, “There is a psychological aspect to it as well. It is not just the scores or an examination that qualify persons to be nurses and doctors, it is a combination of factors. Healthcare personnel must demonstrate care and compassion for those they serve.”
The Prime Minister also cited a need for Grenadians and other Caribbean nationals to take better care of themselves. “You cannot be too busy to take care of yourself. Some persons bring their vehicles to the mechanic on a regular basic but do not visit their doctors with the same regularity. Too many of our people are affected by lifestyle diseases. We have to do better; healthy populations go a long way in facilitating healthy economies.”
Dr. Mitchell challenged the CNO to work in closer collaboration with Ministries of Health and national nurses associations in the region to realise greater efficiencies in the delivery of healthcare services and in improving education and awareness among Caribbean people.