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TCI Hospital pursues Accreditation to offer Medical Internships



#Provienciales, February 13, 2019 – Turks and Caicos – Turks and Caicos Islands Hospital has received significant interest from medical interns locally and worldwide in recent years. In an effort to further improve the quality of care and create a pipeline of future medical talent, the private health care management company has officially applied to become a facility, which is accredited to deliver medical internship programs.

The University of the West Indies (UWI) Accreditation process involves the submission of an institutional self-assessment report by the interested facility. The request is reviewed by the UWI Accreditation Committee and where suitable, a team is selected to conduct an on-site assessment to verify the information provided in the report.

Four members of the UWI Accreditation Committee conducted the on-site assessment at TCI Hospital on February 8th and 9th 2019. The visiting team comprised of Professor Trevor McCartney – Chairman of UWI Accreditation Committee and former Chairman of Caribbean Association of Medical Councils (CAMC), Professor Howard Spencer – Registrar of CAMC, Dr Tomlin Paul – Dean of Medical Sciences UWI Mona Campus and Dr Lenroy Bryan – Lecturer, UWI Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

During the on-site assessment, the team participated in multiple stakeholder meetings and conducted a tour of Cheshire Hall Medical Centre and Cockburn Town Medical Centre. Chief Executive Officer of InterHealth Canada – TCI Hospital, Daniel Carriere gave remarks on past and present certifications pursued by the health care facility. The hospital has acquired three successive Diamond rankings by Accreditation Canada International in 2012, 2015 and 2018.

In addition, the hospital is currently seeking to become a Baby Friendly Hospital (BFHI) and Best Practice Spotlight Organization (BPSO). The latter program is delivered by the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO).  Governance certifications were also successfully acquired from the Organization of Information Security (ISO) to bolster security practices for hospital information systems. 

Chief of Medical Services, Dr Denise Braithwaite-Tennant underscored the value of strategic alliances in health care and the broad range of internal training programs during her presentation. These programs are designed to foster a culture of continuous organizational learning and development, which paves a strong foundation for an internship program.

These include mandatory training programs, code drills, AHA certified courses and continuing medical education (CME) sessions, which are conducted by in-house and international facilitators. InterHealth Canada TCI is also contractually mandated to provide physicians with access to overseas medical conferences to keep academically up-to-date.

Under the internship program, participants are required to undergo a one-year paid rotation across four of the major disciplines. These are general surgery, internal medicine, paediatrics, obstetrics and gynaecology. These programs are carefully structured in accordance with robust standards to ensure participants acquire the clinical competence necessary to meet the requirements for medical licenses upon completion.

TCI Government has issued several educational scholarships within the field of medicine. Correspondingly, remarks were delivered by Edgar Howell, Director of the Ministry of Education, Youth, Culture and Library Services, and President of the TCI Community College (TCICC), Dr Hugh Fulford. Several local medical students have expressed challenges for the internship component of their studies, said Howell. TCICC has also commenced a nursing program, which will benefit from locally accessible internships. Both education representatives expressed hopes that the medical centres will satisfy the requirements of the surveyors.

Health Registrar for the TCI Government, Dr Derrick Aarons, provided an overview of the role of the health registrar with reference to the relevant ordinance, which makes provision for medical internships. Chief Executive Officer of the Health Regulatory Authority (HRA), Pierre Richardson provided insight into the agency’s role and responsibilities. The HRA was established under the Health Regulations Ordinance 2016 and shall serve as an independent regulatory agency of public and private health care facilities in-country.

Chief Executive Officer of the National Health Insurance Board, Dr Terese Maitland gave remarks on the collaboration between TCI Hospital and the National Health Insurance Board (NHIB), which is responsible for the management of the contributory social health care scheme. The NHI Plan is the health financing mechanism for the delivery of health services in the country, which includes overseas tertiary level and catastrophic care.

Leader of the UWI assessment team, Professor McCartney commended InterHealth Canada for the comprehensive nature of the meetings and other stakeholders for the effort to maintain high standards and regulations. The Canadian company was also commended for the introduction a Public Private Partnership health care model in the Caribbean. The Minister of Health, Honourable Edwin Astwood also attended a portion of the sessions in support of the internship pursuit. The findings of the on-site assessment will be reviewed in the next UWI Accreditation Committee meeting in April or March 2019 and later released to the hospital.

Release: InterHealth Canada

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Bahamas News

MP’s Graduate with Parliamentary Governance Certificates



January 18, 2022 – The Caribbean Democrat Union (CDU), in partnership with the Conservatives Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD) Programme, held an Online Graduation Ceremony on Friday January 14th 2022 for fifteen (15) Members of Parliament who successfully completed a one year certificate programme in Parliamentary Governance with McGill University in Canada.

This professional development certificate programme is recognized by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) and provided MP’s with important theoretical and practical knowledge in executing their roles and responsibilities as legislators. Sponsorship for the MP’s was provided by the Conservatives WFD Programme.

The successful graduates included:

  • Tracy Panton– MP Albert, UDP, Belize
  • Shyne Barrow – MP, Mesopotamia, UDP, Belize
  • Senator Hon. Sheena Pitts – UDP, Belize
  • Kerensia Morrison – MP St. Catherine North Eastern, JLP, Jamaica
  • Tova Hamilton – MP, Trelawny Northern, JLP, Jamaica
  • Dr. Michelle Charles – MP, St. Thomas Eastern, JLP, Jamaica
  • Tamika Davis – MP, Hanover Western, JLP, Jamaica
  • Rhoda Crawford – MP, Manchester Central, JLP, Jamaica
  • Anne Marie Vaz – MP, Portland Eastern, JLP, Jamaica
  • Krstyal Lee – MP, St. Anne North Western, JLP, Jamaica
  • Robert Miller – MP St. Catherine South Eastern, JLP, Jamaica
  • Heroy Clarke – MP, St. James Central, JLP, Jamaica
  • Dwight Sibblies – MP, Clarendon Northern, JLP, Jamaica
  • Morland Wilson – MP, Westmoreland Western, JLP, Jamaica
  • Senator Hon. Shevern John – NDP, St. Vincent and the Grenadines

The Online Graduation Ceremony was attended by The Most Hon. Andrew Holness Prime Minister of Jamaica, Maria Miller Conservative MP UK, Dr. Hon. Godwin Friday Leader of the Opposition St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Hon. Patrick Faber Leader of the Opposition Belize, Carola Weil Dean of Continuing Studies McGill University, Nick Francis Secretary General CDU, and other officials from the UK Conservative Party’s International Department and Faculty and Staff from McGill University.

Mr. Nick Francis in his remarks at the ceremony noted that this initiative was birthed through greater engagement and consultation with stakeholders in the region in light of the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and he was grateful to the administrators at McGill University for partnering with the CDU and the Conservatives WFD Programme to make this online training possible.

Hon. Patrick Faber and Dr. Hon. Godwin Friday extended congratulations to the graduates and expressed gratitude to the Conservatives WFD Programme, the CDU and McGill University on this successful collaboration to enhance parliamentary democracy in their respective countries.

A second cohort of trainees will commence the Parliamentary Governance Certificate with McGill University in March of this year and will include young prospective MP’s.


Dean of Continuing Studies at McGill University Carola Weil extended congratulations to the fifteen (15) MP’s for successfully completing the yearlong certificate programme in Parliamentary Governance and noted that this was an “important step towards the continuation of good governance and democracy around the world”

In addressing the graduates at the ceremony, Prime Minster the Most Hon. Andrew Holness noted his expectations that the training received will help to inform their advocacy, guide their involvement in policy development, and “contribute to a new cadre of political representatives that will always strive for the highest standards of excellence in governance, in parliamentary practice, and in political representation.”

Conservative MP Maria Miller UK in a pre-recorded message to the graduates (the majority being new female MP’s) noted that in light of the challenges facing women in politics, “the Conservative WFD Programme is committed to strengthening democracy by creating a much more inclusive, accountable and transparent political system.”


Press Release: CDU

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Education Minister announces Platinum Partnerships for internet and tablet program amidst COVID surge



By Shaniek Smith

Staff Writer


#TurksandCaicos, January 15, 2022 – Schools did not resume in person learning in the Turks and Caicos on January 4, instead it was back to virtual classes for 7,400 children in the British overseas territory due to an omicron-driven surge in Covid-19 infections.

It was announced on the New Year’s Day holiday for TCI, January 3 in a press conference hosted by Rachel Taylor, the Minister of Education, and attended by Jamell Robinson, Minister of Health and supported by Premier Washington Misick, who was also at the live event.

In a promised update, parents got the not-so-good-news, virtual classes would resume at least until the end of January due to the surge and staff shortages being experienced.  Turks and Caicos, up to Thursday January 14 had over 800 active cases, five new deaths and a 600 per cent increase in hospitalisations.  The Minister said the decision was in the interest of safety.

The Minister also promised to get devices and internet to students in order for them to participate in learning during this virtual-only season.  The press conference on January 13, welcomed partners Flow, Digicel and the Pine Cay Project.

In her address, chair of the Pine Cay Project, Marie Landel, said that an urgent call from Dr. Carlton Mills, a member of their board of trustees revealed that about 750 students would be without internet connection and devices.

The Pine Cay Project responded to that information and has agreed to pay for internet for 30 days students, with its partner in the initiative, DigicelTCI.  It is an $18,000 investment in education continuity for hundreds of children.

“We had strong discussions on what we should do with the money that we collect every year, so yesterday we agreed to the funding in emergency situation of 300 internet connections and devices that are going to help the students in need, and we’re very proud to be able to act quickly,” Landel expressed.

Additionally, the Marketing Manager at Digicel TCI, Mr Drexler Smith, said Digicel has partnered with the Ministry of Education to provide about 1,000 tablets for public schools. Smith added that 75 MiFi devices valued at 7,000 dollars were provided; they come with free data services for up to three months for students in need.

Digicel has also created a special education plan for e-learning with specific zero-rated sites and applications. The company partnered with Pine Cay and other private entities in this regard. Various schools and educational facilities in South Caicos, Five Cays, and Providenciales have benefitted from laptops, data plans, MiFi’s, and e-learning kits.

Marketing Executive Flow TCI, Darron Hilaire, also shared the contributions Flow made to the education sector since the pandemic.

“Within the last three years, Flow TCI, through our charitable foundation, would have donated $130,000 worth of ICT equipment to 2 schools respectively in Grand Turk and in Providenciales for the outfitting of the new computer labs to help facilitate the ministry’s vision to foster an efficient e-learning environment for students,” he said.

Mr. Hilaire added that within the first year of the pandemic, Flow responded to requests from the Ministry to increase the bandwidth to public schools in the TCI. Hilaire said Flow home internet speed doubles automatically at no cost to its customers in early July.

He said that within the last 60 days, Flow TCI announced a recent donation of $25,000 dollars to two schools in North Caicos and one in Providenciales. The donation was in aid of increasing connectivity and infrastructural upgrades.

“As we come to the end of this phase of the project, our objective is to look at doing the same for other schools in the second phase of the projects to further arm our schools with the access to technology to provide the best quality education to students,” Hilaire added.

Amanyara Resort, not present at the press event, was said to be working on additional laptops for hundreds of children despite having already donated to several schools in Providenciales.

Minister Rachel Taylor and her team, including Eugene Grant, ICT Education Officer at the Ministry of Education and Mark Garland, Deputy Director of Education thanked the donors; they were labelled Platinum Partners by the Minister.


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Government apologizes to Churches for NEW Covid-19 Testing rule



#TurksandCaicos, January 15, 2022 – The TCI Government is apologizing for including the Church in a new raft of restrictions which mandates unvaccinated congregants be tested in order to be allowed to attend church events however, there is no change in the rule.  The rule is now delayed start for another two weeks following an announcement issued by the Ministry of Health on Thursday evening.

The apology came from Premier Washington Misick in a statement late Wednesday, where he apologized for bunching the church in with restaurants, lounges, bars and discotheques which also have to follow the regulation.

Church pastors speaking with Magnetic Media expressed shock at the announcement which was revealed, on Tuesday, as a cabinet approved decision which also includes mandatory testing for the unvaccinated to attend funerals.

While there has been no official statement from the Turks and Caicos Islands Christian Council or the Pastors Fraternity it was clear that some of the church community seemed prepared to stand firmly against the measure.

The Premier has promised that there will be consultation going forward; beckoning to Churches to comply with the temporary rule which he said would help to curb the latest surge of COVID-19 cases.


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