TCI News

Turks and Caicos Hospitals accredited for internships; officials say it means improved healthcare

#Providenciales, June 21, 2019 – Turks and Caicos – Training for Medical Interns is now possible at the Turks and Caicos Islands Hospitals; the facility today announced that the West Indies Caribbean Association of Medical Councils granted the accreditation status which can actually begins on July 1, 2019.

Commenting on the accreditation, Dean of Medical Sciences at the UWI Mona Campus, Dr Tomlin Paul stated: “The Faculty of Medical Sciences, UWI Mona, is delighted to have news of a successful accreditation of the Turks & Caicos Islands (TCI) Hospital. This augurs well for the continued education of our Medical Graduates from the TCI. We look forward to working with the Hospital’s Administration in the continued development of Human Resources for the Caribbean Health Sector.”

UWI conducted the onsite assessment of TCI Hospitals in February 2019 and in a media release today, Chief of Medical Services, Dr Denise Braithwaite-Tennant said having medical school graduates performing internships at the Hospitals will add to the medical staff in the short term and improve diagnostic services in the long term

“Our objective is to transform the long-standing single consultant physician model overtime to a multi-level skill mix of consultant, registrar and medical interns. Many Turks and Caicos Islanders have expressed interest in returning home for their medical internships. The accreditation is the first step towards eventually accommodating these requests. Patient safety is our number one priority and building local human capacity remains a key strategic imperative.”

The Hospitals explained that while the UWI accreditation grants the facility the option to begin rotations as early as July 1st, there are additional steps required and these will deepen relations with the Turks and Caicos Islands government and increase the cost of investment in medical services in the country.

The TCIHospitals media statement reveals: “The next step involves the submission of an application to become a locally registered teaching hospital under the Ministry of Education and the presentation of a business case to TCI Government via the Change Procedure outlined in the Project Agreement. This proposal will seek funds to support four new medical intern positions and four registrar level positions. A multi-stakeholder meeting involving local entities is planned to discuss the implementation process.”

Despite the touted costs to fully embrace the internship program, both the Education and Health Ministers are thrilled at the accreditation.

“Academic medicine challenges physicians to work as multi-disciplinary teams and promote a comprehensive and multifaceted look at a patient’s condition and treatment plan, ultimately helping the hospital team provide the best care possible,” said Edwin Astwood, Minister of Health.

“This milestone achievement means that our medical students can now do their internship here within the Turks and Caicos Islands. We will continue to work with IHC and all stakeholders to make this vision a reality,” was the comment in part from Karen Malcolm, Minister of Education. 

The country’s Health Registrar, Dr Derrick Aarons said the achievement of InterHealth Canada (TCI Hospitals) which was supported by the Turks and Caicos Islands Government is to be widely acclaimed and agrees that better health care is on the way for residents and guests.

Further explaining how the accreditation from a team of industry experts and the UWI Accreditation Committee will enhance services at the two hospitals located in Providenciales and Grand Turk, CEO of Interhealth Canada, Daniel Carriere said: “Our successful accreditation as a teaching facility via the University of West Indies denotes a major milestone for the TCI Hospital. The fact that we will host medical interns will dramatically enhance our ability to continuously improve service delivery for our patients. The associated expectations will also provide a platform to develop other teaching programs, greater flexibility in our staffing requirements within the medical services and decrease our reliance on locum appointments. In addition, the teaching designation will further support the recruitment and retention of highly skilled staff.”

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