Government may be turning to offshore medical schools on the island to remedy the problem of providing internships for the large number of medical students graduating from the University of the West Indies (UWI).
Minister of Health John Boyce has disclosed that talks would be held tomorrow with the Barbados Medical Council and other key organizations on the possible training of interns at medical schools.
Addressing a function hosted by the Barbados Association of Medical Practitioners and the UWI to welcome the 2016 batch of graduating doctors at the Concorde Experience last night, Boyce admitted, “One of the challenges recently confronting the Ministry of Health is an increasing demand that outstrips the placements for new interns.
“We’ve had unfortunately to leave interns out over the last couple of years out of the persons who have graduated with their MBBS [Bachelors in medicine or surgery], and this is an unfortunate circumstance, which I know as a Government and I believe as a Minister we must correct.
“It is our aim to work with these stakeholders, come Monday morning, and try to correct this situation.
Boyce noted with concern that some UWI 2014 graduates had threatened to take legal action last year to secure internships at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
However, he was hopeful that a solution was in sight, revealing that Barbados had been approached by at least five offshore medical schools seeking to locate and develop training for undergraduates in the field of medicine over the last five years.
Boyce assured that any action taken would be in the best interest of the students and the country.
“Any system developed must be based on collaboration with the Ministry of Education, respect for our national laws and allow both nationals and non- nationals alike the opportunity to fulfill their internships”.