As a retiree from one of the noblest professions in the field of medicine, I empathize with the nurses still in limbo regarding the outcome of the compromised final exam. I personally recall with vivid clarity, the accompanying mental stress leading up to exams, albeit bolstered by the fact that the training period was over, and success heralded a new career phase. Now these students through no doing of their own are being punished, while at the same time having to deal with all the accompanying emotions. What will bring an end to this imbroglio? Attorney Anil Nandlall in a letter of November 15, 2016 to the Registrar of the Guyana Nursing Council with copies sent to the Principal Tutor, Permanent Secretary and Minister of Public Health, reminded the body that the nursing students’ contracts had expired on or about June 24, 2016. Needless to say this casts a further negative light on the entire saga. In December 2016, according to newspaper reports, the then Public Health Minister George Norton instructed the Guyana Nursing Council to mark the examination papers of the some 250 nursing students from the private and public sector who had taken the examination on October 18 and 19. This directive was delivered in the form of a letter to the Guyana Nursing Council, following a directive he had received from Cabinet.
In addition, an investigation was also launched by the Guyana Police Force Criminal Investigation Department, from whom to date no findings have been reported. Seeking the intervention of the recently appointed Minister of Public Health Volda Lawrence may be somewhat unfair given the time factor. Despite the fact that the department falls under her mandate, the fact that her appointment is so recent and that she has to deal with such a tangled web, militates against the production of a satisfactory solution on her part.
I am calling on President Granger to not only give this matter his immediate attention, but to ask that all the professional miscreants involved be dealt with swiftly, taking legal action where appropriate, as well as having them sanctioned by their respective licensing bodies. This would send a clear message to all future students. No holds should be barred; no stone left unturned.
The government should not need be reminded that nurses play a pivotal part in maintaining the health of the nation, and the health of the nation is a national concern. My parting plea is for them not to allow this pathetic saga to drag on any further.