The national nursing conference was opened this morning in Belize City. Over one hundred and fifty nurses have converged to discuss the future of the profession in Belize. Augustina Elijio, Deputy Director of health services with responsibility for nursing in Belize says they are looking at improving the future of nursing to improve quality care in Belize.
AUGUSTINA ELIJIO – DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF HEALTH SERVICES
It’s a move that must happen we are in a global village as it relates to health we need to think global but yet act local. Whatever is happening globally affects Belize; I must also indicate that the health care system is so dynamic so evolving and it cannot be business as usual for nursing. We must step up to the plate; we must be cognizant of what are the changes and what are the changing roles that nurses must be prepared for.
Doctor Diana Mason, senior policy service professor at the George Washington University in Washington DC is present for the conference as a consultant. She and another consultant will lead the discussion on how to strengthen the profession in Belize and to develop a national action plan which is being supported by the Government.
DIANA MASON – CONSULTANT
Dr. Jane Savage from the United Kingdom and I are here to advise the nursing leadership on developing a national action plan for nursing in Belize and we are here to look at what are the issues and what is the dreams that nurses have for improving the profession and for being able to be a stronger force for improving the health of the people of Belize. I don’t think most people realize how important nurses are to the health of the nation. They are crucial if you don’t have enough nurses who are well prepared people die; people do not get their health promoted and so we are here to talk about how to strengthen that nursing profession; have nurses be equal partners at descion making tables about health care in communities and at the ministry level at the national level as well. At the end of today we will have gathered a number of ideas around different topical areas. The next two days will be refining those areas; this will be further refined into a national action plan. The minister of Health just made a commitment in supporting that national action plan. Dr. Figeroa made the same commitment in supporting it.
PABLO MARIN – MINISTER OF HEALTH
Transforming the health care system will intern require a fundamental thinking in roles of many health professions including nurses. Achieving such a shift will enable the health care system to provide higher quality care and increase safety. The ministry of health is quite mindful of this and stands ready to transform the nursing profession to accommodate these changes in the health care system.
The conference ends on Friday.