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Jun 11, 2021

Are Nurses Leaving for Better Pay, or Better Treatment?

We also asked President Spencer if he thinks nurses are leaving the country to serve elsewhere because of better compensation.  He says this is not true, and they also feel non-Belizean nurses get better treatment overall.  


Darrell Spencer, President, Nurses Association

Darrell Spencer

“That is a narrative and a talking point created by I don’t know who, some irresponsible person. The fact is the vast majority of nurses in this country are Belizeans. The vast majority are seniors; myself, thirty years in the department. If it was just merely to go and extend to greener pastures, then I would not be here. So, there are quite a number of nurses in this country who would want to stay in Belize. The fact that the government is making it more difficult every year needs to be discussed. And we need to move away from this ridiculous talking point that people looking for greener pastures. There is discussion we can have about making nurses comfortable and wanting to stay in Belize. After all, all these people who come in, ninety five percent of those people from other countries who come in, they use Belize as a steppingstone. They get experience. They get a license. They get all these things, perks from the Government of Belize to be here while they are here. Then, they move on to the same greener pastures.

Now what the government is doing is sweetening up the package for the foreigners. By the government waving a three thousand dollars work permit fee, do you know what a Belizean nurse could have done with those three thousand dollars? So, you are sweetening up the package for a foreigner. When they bring a Cuban delegation, the government must pay housing. They must pay transportation. The person is given a stipend. When you add up all these things, quite a lot of them are taking home more than what the Belizean can afford to take home. So the foreign gets better treatment in Belize.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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