From left forefround: Pictured are Minister of Industry, Denis Kellman; Minister of Education, Ronald Jones; Attorney General, Adriel Brathwaite; Prime Minister, Freundel Stuart; AUB’s Director of Admissions, Dr. Gary Brar; and Director Meesam Ali Khan at the official opening. (A. Miller/BGIS)

As an offshore medical school, the American University of Barbados (AUB), an offshoot of Era’s Lucknow Medical College and Hospital in India, will pose no competition to the Faculty of Medicine here at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Cave Hill Campus.??

This assurance came from this island’s Minister of Education and Human Resource Development, Ronald Jones, as well as AUB’s Director of Admissions, Dr. Gary Brar, who both addressed the official opening last Friday, at Wildey, St. Michael.

Minister Jones said: "The establishment of the AUB is not by mere happenstance", while noting that his Ministry had dialogued with the UWI on the issue.?? He divulged that Cave Hill’s response had been: "It is not a problem. Go right ahead, provide the licence and recognition to operate; bringing more and more people to Barbados, more and more young citizens of the world to be trained in Barbados will also help enhance our product because by and large there will be a cross fertilisation of the best teaching talents that will come to Barbados [and] will also benefit the University of the West Indies’ Faculty of Medicine."

The Minister noted that it was not about competition but about collaboration and, he cautioned "those who might want to become enmeshed in controversy" that it was in fact, a synergy.?? "This is [about] working together to ensure that the young citizens of the world get the best possible education in the island at the Faculty of Medicine at Cave Hill and at the AUB," Mr. Jones insisted.

Explaining that the appropriate investigations had been undertaken, he said: "The Ministry of Education did its research, checked its background, [and that] of the ERA’s Lucknow Medical Instititution, and we realised its quality and the tremendous work which was being done in India by that institution and we thought that we would then provide a space where that same level of quality could be exhibited here in Barbados."??

Meanwhile, Dr. Brar, in agreeing that AUB was not in competition with any other medical Institution in the Caribbean, stated that the student population would come from the USA, Canada, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.?? He stressed: "These students will contribute to the growing economy of Barbados, in the form of education tourism and most of these physicians will return to their respective countries to practise medicine."

He added that the university was not new in the field of medical education and said Era’s Lucknow Medical College and Hospital, established in 1997 had been successfully running a 900-bed hospital catering to thousands of patients for more than a decade.

According to him, the college is equipped with all the latest facilities such as round-the-clock emergency and trauma care, ICU, ICCU, NICU, PICU, Burn Care, Blood Bank with components, telemedicine, Hemodialysis Unit, Critical Care Ambulance, Biomedical waste disposal facilities and equipment that includes state-of the-art MRI, Spiral CT scanner, mammography, Colour Doppler, and PCR.

Its courses include the Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Suregry; inducting 150 students annually; Post graduate M.D., M.S, and Diploma in 17 subjects; Bsc. Nursing, Diploma in General Nursing, Midwifery, paramedical and Allied courses.


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