While not a new challenge, Minister for Health and Social Development, Hon Vincent O. Wheatley (R9) says one way to retain and attract healthcare workers in the VI is for the territory to start encouraging some of its own people to return home and make the sacrifice.
“It's not a new problem. It started way back when America, whenever they need professionals, particularly in healthcare and education. The Caribbean is their recruiting ground. There's a whole brain drain going to North America,” he added.
Hon Wheatley was at the time speaking on the May 5, 2023, edition of The Big Story with Cathy O. Richards on ZBVI 780 AM, when he mentioned that the US is also using other measures to entice healthcare workers away from the VI.
“And what they're doing, they're increasing what they're offering. First, it used to be a high salary, then it was a high salary and you could bring a family, then a high salary, your family and an apartment, [now] high salary, family and we will give you status,” he added.
Hon Wheatley was at the time speaking on
the May 5, 2023, edition of The Big Story with Cathy O. Richards on ZBVI
780am when he mentioned that the us is also using other measures to
entice healthcare workers away from the VI.
VI must attract its own talent- Hon Wheatley
“So they're making it very hard for us to attract or maintain the good talent, very, very difficult,” he remarked.
The Minister added that the VI must now get to a point where it can attract its own people who are willing to make a sacrifice for the development of the territory.
He added that while the VI will get a few persons, until there is better remuneration there will always be a challenge.
“We must focus on training our own people and then compensating them properly. It has to start… but it's something I’m keen to see happening, BVIslanders developing their own country, taking care of their own people,” he said.
Already, Premier and Minister of Finance Dr the Hon Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) has indicated that the process has started to review salaries in line with roles and responsibilities in the public service.