Amended Medical Practitioners’ Bill means more healthcare jobs in Guyana for non-citizens and diaspora
GEORGETOWN, GUYANA — The government has changed the law to allow foreign doctors to be registered locally, effectively opening the door for more healthcare jobs in Guyana, including among CARICOM member states.
This change comes as the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) and International Organization for Migration (IOM) have projected that the country will need some 160,000 additional workers in the months ahead to keep up with its immense economic boom.
It also comes amid heightened international competition for Caribbean healthcare workers, as well as reports that thousands of British nationals are seeking to move abroad to work and live.
The Amended Medical Practitioners’ Bill was passed in the House of Assembly just last week.
It allows “non-national” doctors and healthcare workers to become registered to practice medicine or surgery in Guyana.
Access to a wider talent pool
According to Minister of Health Dr. Frank Anthony, this amendment is “opening up the country to a pool of expertise that is urgently needed if we are going to continue with the transformation of the healthcare sector”.
“Guyana is undergoing a rapid transformation in the health sector, and our mission is to create a world-class healthcare service for all citizens to enjoy the best medical care,” he said.
However, he acknowledged that “in the next few years, we will see this infrastructure transformed, but one of our challenges would be with human resources”.
“While attempts have been made to increase training, to expand our training programme, it would still take a few years for us to complete this process and to have all the staff that is necessary.”
To this end, Dr. Anthony emphasized, recruiting non-citizens is required.
Jobs to attract diaspora
Additionally, the government expects the expansion of healthcare jobs in Guyana to attract more of the nation’s diaspora to return home to work and live in the country.
This expectation is in line with the recommendations of the MPI, which encouraged Guyana to leverage its diaspora to fill the anticipated labour market shortage to come.
Other regional leaders have likewise increased efforts to entice their diaspora to return home to take up residence and employment.
Barbados, which is similarly expected to suffer from workforce shortages in the future, strongly encouraged its diaspora to “come on home” ahead of that anticipated challenge.
Meanwhile, the Jamaican government sought to encourage more job opportunities that would enable its diaspora to “become a major player in Jamaica’s future”.