Three more offshore medical schools are coming to join the American University of Barbados in providing medical training here.
Minister of Education Ronald Jones made this disclosure today while leading off debate on the Caribbean Accreditation Authority Education in Medicine and Other Health Professions (Incorporated) Bill, 2016.
While noting that there were currently over 31 offshore medical schools operating in the Caribbean, Jones told Parliament Government had already granted permission for two more such institutions to be located here.
The Member of Parliament for Christ Church East Central explained that one of these schools— the Queen University Medical School of Barbados — was likely to commence operations in September, to be followed by the International School of Medicine of Barbados.
The Minister of Education further disclosed that another application was under consideration for the establishment of the Washington School of Medicine of Barbados and pointed to the economic benefits to be derived from having such institutions domiciled in the Caribbean.
In this regard, he said the St George’s University in Grenada, which began as an offshore medical school, now provides about 30 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product.
He also expects that with the addition of three offshore medical schools, Barbados could be playing host to over 2,500 medical students at any given time, in addition to those studying medicine at the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies.
It was back in 2010 that the American University of Barbados was granted permission to set up at Wildey, St Michael, and later at Landsdown, Christ Church.
Jones noted that the institution had started out with 25 students at its Wildey, St Michael location, but it was forced to move to Landsdown as its numbers grew to just over 150.
He said the school’s intake was expected to increase even further to 200 medical students by September, while the first group of graduates from the five-year programme prepared to leave. (NC)