Health Minister, John Boyce. (FP)
The Ministry of Health is spearheading efforts to find more placements for medical graduates of the Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of the West Indies, to pursue internships.
Speaking at the annual welcome ceremony and banquet for new doctors at the Barbados Concorde Experience last Saturday, Minister of Health, John Boyce, acknowledged that the current demand outstripped available placements for the interns.
He told his audience: “Let me assure you that the Ministry is working assiduously to have a transparent system in place for the selection of interns, and will continue to work with our partners to increase the total component of persons eligible for internship.”
The Health Minister said that he would be meeting with the chairman of the Medical Council and other stakeholders to look at the issue and discuss solutions to the problem, which has seen some graduates without internships “over the last couple of years”.
Mr. Boyce disclosed that Barbados had been approached by at least five offshore medical schools within the last five years, seeking to relocate to the island to provide training for undergraduates in the field of medicine.
While stating that Barbados was honoured to be considered to have both the stable economic climate and the infrastructure necessary to support offshore medical schools, he however made it clear that any system developed must be based on collaboration with the Ministry of Education; a respect for the laws of the country; and provision for both nationals and non-nationals to have the opportunity to fulfil their internships.
Mr. Boyce advised the graduates to always remember that learning never stopped. “The dynamic nature of health care makes continuing education and training imperative for workers in order to continue to provide the best health care possible. The need to stay ahead of the curve on new tools and techniques is a must in the healthcare field,” he stated.
He also urged them to look for opportunities not only in the clinical area but also in public health, epidemiology and research, noting “the functions of a dynamic Ministry are based on the integration of these disciplines in our decision-making processes”.