Ninety-five Ghanaian nurses have arrived in Barbados on an initial two-year contract.
The entourage of 49 women and 46 men signed on to assist with healthcare local in the Caribbean country.
The Ghanaian nurses arrived on Thursday via a chartered flight, Azores Airlines although it was initially communicated that they would arrive earlier this week.
They were met by the Minister of Health and Wellness Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Bostic, newly-installed Minister of Tourism and International Transport Senator Lisa Cummins and Executive Chairman of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Juliette Bynoe-Sutherland, with salutes and elbow bumps.
The Health Minister said while their arrival was a long time in coming, he was glad they had finally landed.
“These nurses will be working at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital as well as the primary healthcare sector, that is the Geriatric Hospitals and polyclinics,” he said.
He said that the Ghanaian nurses have arrived at a very opportune time with the global COVID-19 pandemic unfolding.
“But that is not the only thing that we have to deal with as a Ministry of Health, we have the remainder of the healthcare sector to take care of even though we are fighting this battle and your presence here today and certainly when you start to work in a couple of weeks time would enhance our capacity to deliver the quality of healthcare services that we have been doing for years, and that we will continue to do, and even though we have to divert some of our efforts to fighting COVID, we are now in a better position to deal with the remainder of the healthcare system in Barbados.
One of the nursing officers Lorraine Atopley speaking on behalf of the contingent said, “Thank you very much for welcoming us and greetings from her President Nana Akufo-Addo and all the human resources personnel from the Ministry of Health (in Ghana), greetings from them.”
She said that the team of nurses hopes to have “good interactions” with the patients “for the next two or more years.” When she added: “or more,” there was laughter and cheers from her colleagues and Barbados’ Minister of Health Lt Col Jeffrey Bostic, Minister of Tourism Senator Lisa Cummins along with other officials from both their ministries.
Ms Atopley added: “We promise to work hard to deliver good service to everyone and be at peace with everyone.”