by Kevon Browne
St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): During the March 7 sitting of the National Assembly, St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Dr. Terrance Drew introduced three bills for their first reading.
The Bills – the Banking (Amendment) Bill, 2023; Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (Amendment) Bill, 2023 and Nurses and Midwives (registration) (Amendment) Bill, 2023.
The latter, the Nurses and Midwives (Registration) (Amendment) Bill, 2023, received its second reading where the amendment would change language in the Second Schedule, paragraph 11, to change the frequency with which nurses upgrade their skills and register in the Federation’s Nurse Registry.
Changing the registration of nurses from annual to bi-annually has been an issue for the nurses as, regionally and internationally, it is not a regular practice.
The mover of the Bill, Prime Minister Drew, explained that while the current practice has been to have nurses in the Federation register annually, doctors do not have the same obligation.
“Here is St. Kitts and Nevis, a doctor registers once. That’s it. I don’t remember if I even had to pay any money. Maybe I paid a little something. But the nurses are asked to register every single year. And even when you look at what happens across the region, and I sought to find a place across the region where nurses have to register yearly, I didn’t come across any, but just in case there is one out there that I missed, I leave room to be corrected.”
Parliamentary Representative for Nevis 10, Hon. Eric Evelyn, lent his support to the Bill and asked if there was any consideration for reducing or abolishing the registration fee to support the nurses further.
The Nurses and Midwives (Registration) (Amendment) Bill, 2023, was passed without any adjustments to the amendments to the Bill.