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Minister Greaves Outlines Resolutions to Controversial Cuba Scholarship Programme

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Tuesday, August 15, 2006 – Minister for Health Honourable Damian Greaves, in a GIS press conference on August 15th, said a stratagem has been identified to address questions about variations in the course content of the nursing programmes of St. Lucia and Cuba.

Included in the strategy is the streamlining of the curriculum of the Cuban Nursing Programme to allow it to become compatible with the Nursing Curriculum of the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College.

Having returned from Cuba on August 10th where he met with the Minister for Health of Cuba, technical personnel from that ministry, as well as the director and staff of nursing instruction of the School of Nursing in Cuba, Minister Greaves said, “I have requested and acquired a syllabus for the nursing programme which will be submitted to the General Nursing Council of Saint Lucia for their own assessment. The General Nursing Council will therefore ensure that the programme in Cuba will be synchronized with what obtains at the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College.”

He added: “Following my discussions in Cuba I wish to confirm that the studies being undertaken by the St. Lucians in Cuba make them eligible to seat the Caribbean Nursing Examination - that is the regional examination - so that they can become registered nurses in Saint Lucia. This is exactly the same practice followed by nursing students at the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College. One cannot become a registered nurse in the Caribbean unless one successfully completes this Caribbean Regional nursing Examination.”

Minister Greaves noted that an offer has been made by the Cuban authorities for the student nurses to continue for an additional two years of study, in order to obtain a bachelor's degree in nursing should the students do well enough and should they express their desire to do so.

The minister revealed that a team comprising members of the General Nursing Council, the Saint Lucia Nurses Association, the Human Resource Department of the Ministry of Education, the Coordinator of the Health Science Division of the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College and the Principal Nursing Officer - Community of the Ministry of Health will visit Cuba.

The delegation will meet with Cuban officials to discuss how the institutions can coordinate their syllabi. This undertaking should take effect before the Nursing Programme officially begins in January 2007.

Greaves disclosed that of the 182 nursing students in Cuba 14 will be returning home shortly. As a result, more students will be able to enrol in the programme. before the formal start of the academic year.



bullet Statement by Hon. Damian E Greave, Minister for Health, Human Services, Family Affairs and Gender Relations on the Nursing Program in Cuba

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