Basseterre, St. Kitts, March 07, 2023 (SKNIS): The Nurses and Midwives (Registration) (Amendment) Bill, 2023, which was passed in Federal Parliament on Tuesday, March 07 was strongly supported by the Senior Minister and Parliamentary Representative for St. Christopher Six (6), the Right Honourable Dr. Denzil Douglas.
Dr. Douglas, who was also the Seconder of the Bill, reiterated the point made by the Mover of the Bill, Prime Minister and Minister of Health, the Honourable Dr. Terrance Drew that “registration of professionals is of very critical importance.”
“The nurses, of course, being professional people, are expected to conduct themselves in the pursuit of their profession in the highest regard for the ethics of their profession.
Administering nursing services to patients and otherwise without being appropriately licensed is against the law,” said Dr. Douglas. “It is, therefore, important for us as a government to ensure that the environment and the preconditions for practicing are met at all times.”
Senior Minister Dr. Douglas said that the Bill is very timely.
“It is critically important for this to take place because for example, as I have been told there are nurses who would have been trained and registered here [in St. Kitts and Nevis] but who may be residents in other countries nearby… and would have a difficulty if it is not done properly. They would not be able to administer their professional service unless they are appropriately registered,” said the Senior Minister.
Senior Minister Dr. Douglas said that in past years there were discussions at the regional level to change the registration of nurses from annual to biannual – every two years. However, it was critical to approach it legally.
“This is what we are doing here. This is the appropriate way where you must go back to your national councils, and they would pursue the matter in the way it should be pursued and then brought to the parliament. The parliament of the country passes the necessary amendment to the existing legislation that changes it from annually to bi-annually,” said Minister Douglas. “It is a very simple piece of legislation, but it is critically important that we pursue matters in this country in the legal way.”
The Nurses and Midwives (Registration) (Amendment) Bill, 2023, is a BILL to amend the Nurses and Midwives (Registration) Act, Cap. 9.17 and for related matters.