Sint Maarten government looking to hire nurses ‘urgently’ amid COVID surge

Retired and/or available nurses asked to contact CPS as soon as possible 

PHILIPSBURG, SINT MAARTEN — The government is urgently seeking to hire nurses, including those who may be retired but able to return to duty, as the nation battles a new surge of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases.

Several other Caribbean countries are likewise seeing an increase in cases as the highly infectious omicron variant of COVID-19 spreads across the globe.

Three healthcare colleagues stand outside a modern hospital. (Photo: iStock)

Sint Maarten’s Collective Prevention Service (CPS) said it is “exceptionally busy at the moment” as a result of the recent surge on the island.

In a statement, the government announced, “The Collective Prevention Service (CPS), a department within the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour (Ministry VSA), is in urgent need of retired or available nurses due to the COVID-19 surge that the country is experiencing.

“The number of COVID-19 cases within the past week has surged from 36 to over 500 active cases.

“Retired or available nurses are needed to complement the current CPS staff to assist with source and contact tracing.

“Interested nurses should contact CPS Department Head Eva Lista-de Weever by emailing surveillance@sintmaartengov.org.”

 

Staffing shortages 

Healthcare workers, including but not exclusively nurses, have remained in high demand worldwide throughout the pandemic as the deadly virus put unprecedented pressure on hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities.

As early as last summer, Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Director Dr. Carissa Etienne had projected that an additional 20,000 doctors and over 30,000 nurses would be needed “to manage the ICU needs of half of the countries in Latin America and the Caribbean”.

Caribbean countries like Jamaica, Turks & Caicos and The Bahamas ultimately hired foreign nurses in an attempt to shore up staffing and better handle COVID-19 waves.

A group of healthcare workers.

In Barbados, the government offered to take on healthcare workers to be trained as test swabbers in October, while the Cayman Islands hired some additional 29 healthcare workers around the same time.

Just before Christmas, countries like Grenada and Guyana doled out bonus payments to healthcare workers as a financial token of appreciation and encouragement for their arduous efforts amid the pandemic.

In her 2022 New Year’s Day address, Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs acknowledged the “serious challenges” Sint Maarten faced as a result of COVID-19, “including lack of capacity and financing”.

However, she also said the country has “made significant advancements” in its fight “thanks to the commitment and hard work of our civil servants” as well as support from several organizations.

You can find the latest jobs in the Caribbean with Caribbean Employment Services Inc.

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