Bahamas, June 21, 2017 – Nassau – Minister of Health Dr. the Hon. Duane Sands said the Government remains committed to its support of the University of the West Indies School of Clinical Medicine and Research (The Bahamas) programme, which includes provision per student of $13,400 of the $20,000 per annum tuition, along with a monthly stipend, and the subsidies of the salaries of the lecturers.
This translates to an investment of approximately $4 million per year. The total number of doctors trained to date is 329 with 70 per cent being females and 30 per cent males, Dr. Sands said.
He addressed the Induction and Awards Ceremony for the 2017 graduating class of the University of the West Indies School of Clinical Medicine and Research at Melia Nassau Beach, Monday, June 19, 2017.
There were 44 new graduates and 16 post-graduates from a number of specialities including emergency medicine, family medicine, paediatrics, obstetrics and gynaecology and surgery.
“This graduating class being the largest graduating class to date for the programme will now join the ranks to ensure the delivery of quality healthcare in our Bahamas.”
The Health Minister said establishing the University of the West Indies Bahamas campus, was one of the best national investments made in strengthening the health workforce. The University of the West Indies School of Medicine is the medical school of choice for Bahamians seeking careers in the practice of medicine, and over 50 per cent of the graduates continue to be employed in the public health sector, he said.
However, he noted that a review of the physician manpower status revealed that within the next 10 years a physician shortfall will occur.
Dr. Sands said to meet the expanding healthcare needs in The Bahamas, continued investment must occur, not only to strengthen the workforce capacity of the Faculty but also the delivery of services at the primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare levels.
He said a long-term effort is required to rebuild the public health workforce, and it will require major support from national and a wide variety of international agencies.
Press Release: BIS