African internship opportunities for UWI medical students

African internship opportunities for UWI medical students

Sunday, December 08, 2019

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BRIDGETOWN (CMC) — Barbados Health Minister Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Bostic says medical students at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, could soon have internship opportunities in Africa.

The African internships are being proposed as a solution to the limitation on the numbers of interns who can be accommodated at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH), which began as a teaching hospital in 1967, four years after it opened.

Bostic made the announcement as he signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to renew the 52-year-old relationship between UWI at Cave Hill, the ministry, and the QEH.

“In the coming days, a similar signing ceremony will take place in Kenya, where the minister of foreign affairs will sign an MOU with the Government of Kenya dealing with health.

“In working out that MOU we asked how UWI could get involved in the process, so this agreement with Kenya will include the possibility of local medical students doing their internships in Kenyan hospitals, since we cannot accommodate all of them at the QEH.

“And since Kenya has a shortage of doctors rather than nurses, we will see whether Kenyan doctors can come and enroll at UWI, and for doctors from Barbados and ultimately the Caribbean region to work in Kenya.”

Principal of the UWI Cave Hill Campus, Professor Eudine Barriteau said that from the inception of medical teaching at Cave Hill, “our training of doctors was constrained by the number of beds available within the local health care system, specifically the Queen Elizabeth Hospital”.

“Cave Hill adhered to those stipulations under the professional assessment of the Caribbean Accreditation [Authority] for Education in Medicine and other Health Professions (CAAM-HP).

“The UWI model of medical training is based on utilising live patients — not mannequins — and so once we did not have extra beds available to increase the student intake, we have not sought to take in higher numbers than we could comfortably accommodate for the students' vital clinical rotations within a hospital setting,” Barriteau said.

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