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$44,286 starting salary for nurses not attractive for recruitment & retention- Hon Wheatley

-said the VI continues to find it hard to recruit & retain health services professionals
The starting salary for nurses employed by the BVI Health Services Authority (BVIHSA) is $44,286.00 per annum, while the starting salary for doctors is 100,000 per annum, Minister for Health and Social Development Hon Vincent O. Wheatley (R7) has disclosed. Photo:
Minister for Health and Social Development Hon Vincent O. Wheatley (R9) has said Recruiting doctors and nurses is a real challenge because there is a global shortage and it is very hard to compete on salaries with other countries such as the Cayman Islands, Bermuda, Canada, UK, and United States. Photo: YouTube
Minister for Health and Social Development Hon Vincent O. Wheatley (R9) has said Recruiting doctors and nurses is a real challenge because there is a global shortage and it is very hard to compete on salaries with other countries such as the Cayman Islands, Bermuda, Canada, UK, and United States. Photo: YouTube
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- “Recruiting doctors and nurses is a real challenge because there is a global shortage and it is very hard to compete on salaries with other countries such as the Cayman Islands, Bermuda, Canada, UK, United States. They are making working in those countries very attractive for nurses and doctors. So recruitment and retention remains a challenge for us.”

This is according to Minister for Health and Social Development Hon Vincent O. Wheatley (R9) while responding to a question from Second District Representative Hon Melvin M. Turnbull during the Continuation of the Sixth Sitting of the First Session of the Fifth House of Assembly (HoA) on Tuesday, January 30, 2024.

VI paying nurses & doctors less than some OTs

Hon Wheatley also disclosed that the starting salary for nurses employed by the BVI Health Services Authority (BVIHSA) is $44,286.00 per annum, while the starting salary for doctors is $100,000 per annum.

The Health Minister noted that the starting salary for nurses in certain Overseas Territories is around $70,000 and it is much higher in the UK, US, and New Zealand, which offer a “signed on bonus” of $10,000 and more and also offer fast-tracked citizenship.

“BVIHSA has lost many of their staff members to these regions and will endeavour to adjust their strategies and salary levels to increase the rate of retention, given the sort of living increases in the territory and throughout the world.”

Hon Wheatley also said another reason nurses leave the VI health system is due to familial dynamics, which occur on account of families relocating and separating for better opportunities overseas.

“While this list is not exhausted, these are the current themes identified in exit interviews with staff,” Hon Wheatley stated.

Staff need to operate equipment @ public hospital

Meanwhile, the Health Minister lamented that there is “some great equipment” in Dr D. Orlando Smith Hospital; however, the challenge is getting qualified persons to operate these machines and also to keep the machines running.

He also said he gets a lot of complaints daily about machines being down but he is fully committed to doing a lot better in terms of making sure patients only have to go abroad in extreme cases.

“I think it was two weeks ago we had three persons flown to Colombia, two with cardiovascular situations and one with broken bones, some of those things actually can be attended to here with the right equipment…I am fully committed to doing a hard recruitment drive.

“It’s hard to compete with salaries but there are other things we can offer these persons to incentivize them to want to work here in our lovely British Virgin Islands and we will explore all of those things,” Hon Wheatley stated.

43 Responses to “$44,286 starting salary for nurses not attractive for recruitment & retention- Hon Wheatley”

  • Hmm (31/01/2024, 13:49) Like (53) Dislike (3) Reply
    In those places where your medical personnel's are relocating to, they don't need to beg or fight for PR, belonger or citizenship. They recognize their service and they treat them better.
  • Real Staff Nurse. (31/01/2024, 14:07) Like (51) Dislike (8) Reply
    Mr. Minister why are you lying $44.000.00 Equal $3.700 per month not even senior staff nurse making that. As a staff Nurse I would be contended with that..Starting Nurses barely making $2,500 a month... You can turn your lie into truth by making what you say the real starting salary,. Then a trained experience staff nurse will be getting $55.000. Annually . Then We have no where to go..
    • I am confused (31/01/2024, 15:11) Like (12) Dislike (7) Reply
      What does the Minister have to gain by lying (being deliberately untruthful) - ok so maybe he is uninformed or perhaps this number represents an average the would contain some highs and low , but your vitriol towards him makes no sense . It seems that he is fighting to get to higher starting wages . From where I see it that's a step in the right direction . But he is a lair for trying to help you ? Iam confused.
      • YES SIR (01/02/2024, 03:57) Like (16) Dislike (0) Reply
        He was fed wrong information by the inept management who are the biggest part of the problem. The starting salary for nurses is $33,000. They do not even want to pay consultant senior doctors $100, 000. The starting salary for doctors is $59,000. That is the fact. Other countries have a trained HR department that is serious in recruiting professionals. Your HR thinks professional are there to beg and scourge. I my friend working in another country for four years and only went to immigration on arrival and again for a citizen interview after three years and of course to pick up his passport. People worked for twenty, thirty years and they cannot get a pension. There are a group of nurses and other professionals who retired and cannot get a pension. They are pain $50, 000 and told that is all you are entitled to. Guest what? Half of that money is contributed by the nurses. Not the politicians, not the hospital HR, not the Board, not the minister of health, not the government HR, not the attorney General, Not the Deputy Governor, not the complaints commission will act to correct this great evil. All of them keep blaming the other and sending you from one office to the other. That is why you cannot recruit anyone. Believe me the word get around. So start by treating the staff you have well. Give them back the benefits the Ayatollah took away, employ professional HR personnel, Get HR to coordinate and handle immigration process and do not frustrate newly recruits and renewals, pay the nurses their pension, fast track citizenship, pay a realistic salary, and pay the people them their increments which the Ayatollah suspended since 2015. This is the real world.
    • @ Real Staff Nurse (31/01/2024, 16:58) Like (4) Dislike (6) Reply
      Why are you lying?
  • nope (31/01/2024, 14:13) Like (47) Dislike (1) Reply
    Hello Minister, I wish the salaries you quoted were true but that is not the starting salary. We make much much less.
  • Native Realistic Thinker (31/01/2024, 14:41) Like (16) Dislike (0) Reply
    It difficult for me to agree with our Premier on his view as per the Topic Issue. Why not? Because highly trained Doctors and nurses are necessary for the restoration of health, and in many cases help prevent sudden death that may occur without their quick intervention through medical knowledge.

    The above explanation rival that of wasting huge sums of money, $150.000.00 on one day entertainments music festival, unprofitable sports ventures, and other high cost oversees travel ventures.

    If the Premier so care about our over burden economical wellbeing, then I think that he should revisit the Greedy Bill Act, so that low paid government employee, low paid government pension receivers, our infrastructural priorities, roads repair etc., be urgent address, beginning tomorrow, February 1st, 2024 with fail. Talk don't satisfied hungry belly, foods do, but not without sufficient money to pay the seller.

  • Sad (31/01/2024, 15:25) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    Meanwhile in some countries a Air B and B staff making $4000US per month and a server can make upwards of 4 to 5 thousand US per month no degree needed for these jobs. Essential people like nurses, Doctors and teachers etc should be paid what they are really worth!
  • Ghost (31/01/2024, 15:43) Like (25) Dislike (2) Reply
    Good talk Hon. But what about offering incentives to “local” Nurses and Doctors . When expat Nurses & Doctors come here some are offered incentive packages . What are the locals offered . NOTHING!!! Many times all we are is talk nothing more. Cost of living is getting higher daily.
  • Hmmmm (31/01/2024, 15:44) Like (20) Dislike (0) Reply
    The starting salary for a doctor in the BVI is less than 100k. Where did he get those figures from? I think there needs to be an audit cause somebody isn't tell the truth.
  • Strupssssss (31/01/2024, 17:09) Like (33) Dislike (1) Reply
    BVIHSA don't treat the staff right that's why a lot of them leaving and you can't get any justice when you complain to HR.
    Fix the problem then you would get staff. The Lab is the WORST
    • YES! (01/02/2024, 08:28) Like (13) Dislike (0) Reply
      In the last year 5 people have left the lab. The salary is disgraceful! After all the training we are overworked and under paid. With the illiterate ape that does nothing and gets paid the most as the Manager. These things would never happen in Cayman or Bermuda or the US.
      • @Yes! (01/02/2024, 10:01) Like (10) Dislike (1) Reply
        I like how you said it! That Illiterate APE, that does nothing and gets paid the most as the Manager, but walk around and bark, and then run upstairs to kiss ASS. who ever you are I wish I can shake your hand. But the staff that left are in better position now.
  • Misinformation (31/01/2024, 18:45) Like (19) Dislike (1) Reply
    While your present lobby for better salaries for medical professionals is greatly appreciated Mr Minister, you have been greatly misinformed by your sources about the present state of affairs of salaries and the figures quoted could not be more far off. In fact some doctors are making less than $60000 per annum and most nurses get no where close to the figure mentioned. The fact is for all our years of training, we are overworked and underpaid. Please get your facts right before you quote figures to the public!
  • Hmm (31/01/2024, 19:36) Like (16) Dislike (16) Reply
    All them doing at the hospital is giving people wrong medicine!!
    • Well (31/01/2024, 19:53) Like (6) Dislike (3) Reply
      Well you can go to school and become a medical professional and do it your damn self.
  • What a thing for a king (31/01/2024, 21:33) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    In this day let talk as per hr as how the skill workers are paid how many gets more than $18-$23 per hr to compare to the body work man the labour's the only ppl paid less than the hospital staff are the security guards that the bvi Bosses who are digging out them eyes with less than $9 per hr
  • ausar (31/01/2024, 21:55) Like (13) Dislike (4) Reply
    50 grand, to me, is a great place to start for nurses!

    And as for doctors, 150 grand, is the best way to go!

    Instead of placing all your discretionary funds, into fixing dead end roads, how about the health professionals, Premier?
  • jokes (31/01/2024, 21:55) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    Those salaries are for persons in the right click. An audit will show the lack of fairness in pay.
    • Jokes 1 (01/02/2024, 11:03) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Well said high class robbery, but they ain't feeling what we are in salary
  • hhmmm (31/01/2024, 23:12) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply

    Telling the truth is not that hard.
  • WTF (31/01/2024, 23:14) Like (2) Dislike (4) Reply
    Need to chek result of blood test and the lab. Not correct and misplace the blood. Stuppes
    • xray (01/02/2024, 08:45) Like (12) Dislike (0) Reply
      imaging never working. Something always wrong and they send you up the hill to do it where you find the same staff working
      • lol (01/02/2024, 19:40) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
        Thats a fact. They sending work to themselves up the hill by the Purple Place for years now. Eating the same cake two and three times and getting paid each time.
  • Forensic Audit (01/02/2024, 04:05) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    Mr Minister there needs to be a forensic audit because those salary that management told you is certainly not what is being paid. Can anyone state the date of the last audit for the authority. Accountant General we need your intervention.
  • tola (01/02/2024, 05:04) Like (7) Dislike (8) Reply
    Them staff bvihsa talk people business to much
    • @tola (01/02/2024, 16:56) Like (4) Dislike (2) Reply
      Is it only the BVIHSA staff that talk people Business, NO so STOP IT. Everybody talks people business, so just listen don't add or take away and keep drinking your water. Byeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
  • Lie, deception,wicked (01/02/2024, 11:00) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
    Everything within this institution is lies and deception and the higher authority looking down on you. Not only us as nurses but also the housekeepers how can you work 2 weeks for $500 and $600 something dollars how. Plus no tax ain't coming out yet. Every department's salary needs a relook.
  • The lies they tell (01/02/2024, 11:18) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
    Government needs to take back over the hospital
    They need provide uniforms for all works
    Get raid of Malone Smith
    Stop thief and rob workers of there time and money
    Have them working 12hours and paying 8hour pay
    It's goes to salary workers and fortnight workers
    Treat housekeeping better than how them doing always leaving them for last when they are important to the hospital.
    • WOW (01/02/2024, 16:47) Like (8) Dislike (2) Reply
      Listen when they sent Malone-Smith and Lettsome Home they were never to come back, by them Coming back that gave the Illiterate APE, that does nothing and gets paid the most as the Manager back that position when Malone-Smith came back, biggest mistake ever, at least now she not saying it's her hospital...
      That Guyana Voodoo Strong. Let's See if her son come back to the lab, He didn't go to school but yet he can work the Machines, and who went to school can't work the machines cause the would brake them.... Make that make Sense
      DR. Nicolson of Voodoo
  • Karnage (01/02/2024, 11:43) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    Yes let's compare to US jurisdictions. Let's also adopt their tax rates too. Morons.
    • @Karnage (01/02/2024, 16:17) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
      At the end of the year you get to file taxes, so it's not a total lost, what do you get back at the end of the year their. you the biggest Moron
  • (01/02/2024, 11:56) Like (1) Dislike (4) Reply
    Free the drew
  • jack@$$ (01/02/2024, 12:55) Like (10) Dislike (4) Reply
    I don't think the salary is the problem. Every nurse knows they won't get rich from traditional nursing, but nurses have a caring heart that calls them to enter the field. Recently people have gone to the hospital sick and needed care and have been sent home to die without basic checks being made. I won't name names as it may hurt friends and family of the deceased. But there is too much politics and not enough compassion in the nursing field locally. Not just picking on Nurses but the entire hospital staff. And I think if we had more locally raised nurses/doctors they would care more for patients who go there needing care. What can we do? Maybe a tax break for nurses and care givers where their tax threshold is different, add teachers to this also. Affordable mortgage rates or rent stipend for them. I don't have the answers but what we are doing currently isn't working. And there are qualified nurses here who worked at some of the busiest and best hospitals in the world and yet they aren't employed at the hospital or on any board or have any consultant roles. Some of them drive around the country nursing patients for free as their community service and what we need is that type of caring character in the hospitals, and not people who are just there for a job. We have qualified people who have left here for not getting a job at the hospital and now they work abroad and make more than they would make here and we are left without retaining our talented human resources and then have to recruit expats without enough incentive so they come and half A the job.
  • Rofl (01/02/2024, 19:43) Like (11) Dislike (4) Reply
    Ghetto Diva and Popeye run that place into the ground mehson
  • facts (01/02/2024, 20:27) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    That Smith woman needs to go , every meeting she hold with her staff them , she starting it off by saying she from here she is a malone , pickering, smith etc. Everybody from somewhere darling with ur shit , ayo own don't self talk care of ayo. Have the staffs working like slaves ain't want approve over times and giving them there Saturday and Sunday pay when they work . God don't sleep i guess u rather give ur man to buy cocaine for both ayo sniff pay the people them wa they work for. You collecting big money for doing nothing but making hell for others Bor u from here strupsss I beg ooooo
  • With ur shit (01/02/2024, 20:33) Like (14) Dislike (0) Reply
    Ayo talking bout nurses only nurses work at a hospital every department need a raise especially housekeeper the money I hear them does make, u thinking cleaning up shit, vomit and blood easy for some people eh , working them ass off to keep the hospital and patients surrounding sanitized to make u feel comfortable in a clean environment come on
  • VG Nurse (02/02/2024, 09:29) Like (12) Dislike (0) Reply
    Now I understand why some of the young nurses (one in particular) on VG behave so rude and brutal- inhumane attitude. What an experience my visitors and I had with them, recently. They need to have a meeting with them on professionalism and ethical conduct. Thank God for the doctors on VG- remarkable. When I’m capable I’ll visit a private clinic or take a boat to Tortola. I’m disappointed about their salary, but don’t take it out on patients.
  • Thing with them (02/02/2024, 21:46) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    Alot of them minister know wa going on in that hospital but turning a blind eye to the situations . Please put the hospital back under government and sort out who paying or who over the payrolls please . Get raid of that person and ayo start paying people right slavery done long time.
  • xxxxxxx (04/02/2024, 12:51) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply

    only w**** doctor geting more than 100k. she not completed her exams but geting dat salry more than experinced doctors.

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