Minister of Health, John Boyce, has challenged the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, to come up with a curriculum that reflects the current health needs of the population.

He threw out the challenge today, during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of Barbados, the Ministry of Health, and the University. The MOU proposes to formalise the framework for the Government???s relationship with the UWI???s Faculty of Medical Sciences in areas such as training, infrastructural support and facilities.

The Health Minister suggested that the University work with the Ministry to devise a curriculum which ???takes into account our demographic change and our socioeconomic fragility as a small island state???.

He said that the epidemiological transition of Barbados??? health care suggested that the country had moved away from the era where there was more concern about communicable and infectious disease to diseases of a lifestyle related nature.

???Notably, our transition has occurred faster than other developed countries. This has social and economic implications especially with our ever increasing elderly population, falling birth rates and fertility rates,??? Mr. Boyce pointed out.

He added that the close relationship between the UWI and the Ministry of Health had been further enhanced with the establishment of the Barbados National Registry for Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases five years ago ??? the first of its kind in the region.

The outputs of the Registry, Mr. Boyce noted, have influenced the development of a Stroke Unit at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, in addition to a Cardiac Suite for enhanced cardiovascular care which is scheduled for completion in another two months.

The Health Minister said that the signing of the MOU was a prerequisite for the UWIs Medical Faculty to gain accreditation status by the Caribbean Accreditation Authority for Education in Medicine and other Health Professions (CAAM-HP).

???CAAM-HP is an institution of CARICOM which was established in 2003 in response to the regional thrust to ensure quality education and training in the context of the CSME and to accredit the education programmes of medicine, nursing and other health professions within CARICOM member states???Accreditation is a very important next step for the UWI???s Faculty of Medical Sciences,??? Mr. Boyce stated.

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