Joseph Nathaniel France General Hospital faces a shortage of medical technologists.

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts — Human resource needs in the St. Kitts and Nevis health sector were highlighted at the Feb. 27 Health and Human Resource Expo at the 30th Inter-Sessional Meeting of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

“Laboratory work at the Joseph N France Hospital needs laboratory technicians, whether locally or through the skills-free movement in the CARICOM Single Market and Economy,” explained Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Hazel Laws. “The development of added health services and new advancements in Health requires more specialists.

“Our major hospital, the Joseph N France Hospital laboratory is on show here. That is important because we are in need of medical technologists and we are highlighting our need for human resources for health.”

Dr. Laws said specialists are needed for areas like hemodialysis, mental health, oncology and kidney disease treatment.

The Ministry of Health is developing a programme for mental health and substance abuse because of the increase of people in the Federation suffering with mental illnesses and abusing legal and illegal substances.

“Within the Ministry of Health at this time, we are in need of some specialists, not general physicians.”explained Dr. Laws. “In particular we are in need of a psychiatrist to help us with our mental health services, radiologists and lab technicians.’

The ministry recently brought in two technicians from Cuba to address the human resource deficiency. She encouraged locals to choose specialized areas of medicine to study so that they can assist with the lack of human resources in the medical field in the Federation.

Dr. Laws said there is a need for specialist nurses in various professions including oncology and psychiatry.