Minister for Health and Social Development, Hon. Ronnie Skelton made a public call for Virgin Islands doctors and nurses overseas to return to the Territory and work at the new Peebles Hospital.
The Minister made the appeal during the NDP radio program on 19 January in response to calls from residents to ensure that more Virgin Islanders are employed at the hospital. One caller told the Minister: “A lot of BV Islanders are saying they applied for a job, but not getting any response and seeing others, expats getting the jobs.”
Hon. Skelton in response to the points raised by residents encouraged more Virgin Islanders to apply for job at the hospital: “We are trying to encourage our nurses who are overseas to come home. I know sometimes, when they come, there are difficulties, but we encourage doctors and nurses. We have people out there studying to take up some key positions. I know there will be problems and there will be concerns, but I am willing to address these concerns,” Minister Skelton stated.
Noting that he is aware of the complaints about locals being snubbed for jobs, Hon. Skelton announced that he requested an analysis of all the people employed from the Authority. Additionally the Minister said: “I have spoken to the Chairman and his colleagues, that this should be the modus operandi of the health services. Yes, based on what is happening at the health services, we do not have all the necessary expertise we want locally so we do have to employ some people, but the security guards we can do, the kitchen, domestic work we should be able to do it.”
Hon. Skelton stressed that Virgin Islanders should be hired: “Once they are equipped, they are qualified to do that job, you don’t have to ask; I will go and fight to make sure that that is done, and most of the cases that were brought to my attention, that was done.”