Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance, Investment, Telecommunications and Energy, Sen. Darcy Boyce??

Seventy-eight additional persons are now qualified in the field of Medical Transcription, bringing the number of certified individuals to 190.

This was disclosed yesterday, following a graduation ceremony at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.

In his feature address, Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance, Investment, Telecommunications and Energy, Senator Darcy Boyce, said there were multiple advantages of having a Medical Transcription industry on-island. These, he noted, included considerable financial benefits to be gained through direct foreign exchange earnings, the collection of corporate taxes and national insurance earnings.

Senator Boyce added that the industry was expected to provide continued employment for Barbadians, with one of the long term goals being the establishment of three to five production facilities.

"The potential also exists for the development of a cottage industry of Medical transcriptionists and future cohorts of graduates can prospectively be employed within each structure. This development would assist in the expansion of the industrial base, thereby improving Barbados’ marketability to foreign investors," he suggested.

Senator Boyce told the graduands that Medical Transcription also fitted into this island’s goal of transitioning to a fully service-driven economy, based on knowledge- intensive sectors. He noted that these types of industries would add to human capital.

"The Government is well on the way to achieving this goal and will continue to strive to attract firms in the areas of back office processing, biotechnology and, pharmaceutical development.

"Additionally, we are seeking to extend our financial portfolio with products such as wealth management, holding and headquarter companies. The development of business consulting, education, health and wellness and our creative industries which include film, fashion and music and entertainment, is also a key strategy for driving the economy," he said.

The Minister of State maintained that Government was working to ensure that the Medical Transcription sector remained a part of the country’s landscape in the long term and was working assiduously to ensure it became a reality.

A transition committee has already been organised to negotiate and oversee the transferral of training to the Barbados Community College (BCC). It comprises partners from Invest Barbados, the BCC, the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development and the Investment Unit of the Ministry of Finance.

Explaining the rationale for the partnership, Mr. Boyce said: "As with any international business industry, local service providers have a plethora of services to support the companies, such as legal, business and telecommunication services."

He noted that international business was a vital tool in the growth of the Barbadian economy as it was the second largest earner of foreign exchange. The Minister of State advised the firms existing in Barbados to ensure that their operations were as seamless as possible and that the conditions and services provided were of an exceptional standard.

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