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Nurses walk outside the Emergency department at the Point Fortin, Hospital, yesterday.

Over the last year, 106 nurses have resigned for various reasons including due to pregnancy, migration and some have asked to be reassigned to other regional health authorities

Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh indicated this in Senate yesterday replying to questions on the issue by Opposition Senator Wade Mark. He said those reassigned to other RHAs wasn’t a loss but migration was.

From October 2020 to May 2021 the number of registered nurses hired to fill vacancies and increased nursing coverage for COVID-19 care was 255 – so there was a net increase in nursing staff according to Deyalsingh.

Mark asked what concrete measures were taken “to address the untenable situation involving nurses who are working like CEPEP workers.”

Deyalsingh didn’t agree with the characterisation “working like CEPEP workers”. He added, “All workers whether CEPEP or nurse – that’s honourable work and I take great offence by the characterisation of CEPEP workers as somehow dishonourable that’s to be condemned. All workers who make an honest living are honourable.”

Meanwhile, Works Minister Rohan Sinanan said the Public Transport Service Corporation has implemented measures to protect its Tanteak, Carlsen Field facility after unlawful elements accessed the facility on March 23 to get scrap metal. On being stopped, they set fire to bus shells – derelict buses- in the facility “as revenge”.

To prevent a recurrence, the bus shell unit was placed in a more confined, secured formation with solar power light, cameras, a new lift barrier at a new main entrance and an elevated guard platform for enhanced surveillance and response.

On another matter, Leader of Government Business in the Senate Clarence Rambharat said the National Security Ministry which is working with lifeguard services has implemented continuous safety training including use of equipment.

He said three new jet skis were given to lifeguards in April for Mayaro, Maracas and Las Cuevas beaches, which are the most frequented. He added Lifeguards were also trained by a professional from Australia and more jet skis will be purchased.