HIC’s Masters of Medicine Annual Summit returns
Dr Dainia Baugh

For the first time since the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Heart Institute of the Caribbean (HIC) will be hosting its Masters of Medicine Annual Summit.

The summit makes its return on Thursday, September 14 at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel.

It marks the third staging of the conference, this year being held under the theme, "Medicine and Society: Creating a more resilient health system in the Caribbean post-COVID”.

Several high-level roundtable discussions will be held concurrently with local and international experts, including leading physicians, social scientists, policymakers, economists, business leaders, religious and civic society leaders to explore intersecting issues impacting healthcare delivery in the region.

Among topics on the agenda include the leading causes of death in the Caribbean and critical drivers, social determinants impacting healthcare in the Caribbean, policies and regulations impacting health outcomes in the Caribbean, the relationship between the healthcare workforce and health outcomes, and healthcare finance, quality and standardization of care and health equity.

According to Dr Dainia Baugh, President and CEO of the Heart Institute of the Caribbean, the Masters of Medicine conference continues to fulfil a critically important role in the continuing education of physicians, technicians, nurses, and other healthcare providers, and has done so successfully since its inaugural staging in 2019 by attracting leading authorities in healthcare from around the world to Jamaica and creating an opportunity for local healthcare stakeholders to interact directly with these global opinion leaders in healthcare.

Founded in 2005, HIC has prided itself on being an innovative, dynamic healthcare centre that ensures inclusive access to high-quality healthcare. The HIC Foundation, established in 2008, aims to ensure that low-income and vulnerable patients can receive lifesaving care at HIC through subsidies granted by the Foundation. The organisation has been dubbed a change-maker in the global response to the pandemic and related healthcare issues. Its team has for many years responded in tangible ways through the humanitarian medical mission to lift the burden of the public healthcare system and change families' lives. Just last year, in the middle of the global crisis, its founders embarked on a multimillion-dollar expansion of its premier cardiovascular centre – Jamaica's only heart hospital.

The previous Masters of Medicine conference in 2020 was also held under the theme 'Medicine and Society' and focused on the advances in cardiovascular care and how it translates in low-resource nations.

For the 2022 staging, the focus will be on the Caribbean as a region to identify the interplay between medicine and society and how the lessons learned from the pandemic can move us forward in the post-pandemic era to create a more resilient healthcare system capable of withstanding future unexpected shocks.

The target audience will be private and public healthcare professionals, private sector business leaders, policymakers, and social scientists in recognition of the fine line between the responsibility of the private sector to the public sector and vice versa, as well as global bodies with responsibility for public healthcare.

"What is often forgotten is that good quality healthcare cannot be delivered in a vacuum. Many friction points in the healthcare value chain directly impact access and quality of care available to citizens. Decisions made by policymakers, payers, providers, consumers, and other stakeholders can directly impact the ability of providers to attract appropriate talent or resources that will drive the quality of care or ensure health equity," Dr Baugh said.

“Discussions and solutions from the conference will go a long way in resolving some of these frictions to ensure inclusive high-quality care for Caribbean citizens. We are delighted that the Minister of Health, Dr the Hon Christopher Tufton, will open the conference with his remarks, and we also have the participation of the current president of the American Heart Association, Dr Michelle Albert,” added Dr Baugh.

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