by Dominique Lescott
St Kitts and Nevis (WINN): The government has announced an increased capital investment in digital technologies for the coming budget year.
On the opening day of the Budget presentation at the Marriott St. Kitts hotel on Tuesday 14 December 2021; announcements were made on the plan to increase expenditure on developing and improving digital assets.
The Ministries of Health, Education and ICT and Talent Development will be beneficiaries of the increased spending on digital transformation.
Minister of Health, ICT and Talent Development Akilah Byron-Nisbett’s department received an increase of 15.7% from the previous year. Bryon-Nisbett said, “Health continues to be of importance especially during these times of the pandemic”.
Bryon-Nisbett said future plans are twofold. Primary is the digitising of government business and moving away from manual and paper, towards digital transformation.
Hospital patient health records will be digital, allowing patients easier access to records at health care institutions. The Minister confirmed that healthcare workers will be trained on the new systems ahead of the digital implementation.
Secondly, the new Ministry of Entrepreneurship, Entertainment and Talent Development will increase its monitoring of creative standards to ensure they meet local and regional best practices.
The Ministry of Education received the largest ever budget with EC $104 million allotted up from EC $89.9 million dollars last year. Education officials plan to deploy the increased resources to improve access to digital technologies by providing internet and wifi capabilities in all public schools.
Minister of Education the Honourable Jonel Powell also announced a future project to provide access to WiFi in the homes of students at no extra cost.