Mar 22, 2016 News
– part of process to regain int’l accreditation of UG’s School of Medicine
A state of the art facility at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) to cater to the instruction of medical students attending the University of Guyana (UG) is on the cards.
The undertaking, according to information reaching this publication, is expected to be a rather costly one but is necessary if the University’s School of Medicine is to regain international accreditation for its degree in Bachelor of Medicine, and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS).
The needed support to the tune of US$1million ($200 million), has already been forthcoming from a local business magnate who has been in the spirits business for decades. A well placed senior health official told this publication that the significant financial support has been handed over to Government which has already given its blessing for the commencement of works regarding the construction of the facility in the GPHC compound. In fact this publication was told that sod turning for this project will be done shortly.
The official also said that given the generous support offered by the business magnate towards the realisation of the facility, once completed it will be named in his honour.
The School of Medicine was first granted ‘Provisional Accreditation’ by the Jamaica-based Caribbean Accreditation Authority for Education in Medicine and other Health Professions (CAAM-HP) in 2008 for a one-year period.
By 2009 a decision was taken by the body to afford the MBBS programme the elevated accreditation status of ‘Accredited with Conditions’ until 2012. But by 2011, CAAM-HP expressed disappointment at the absence of a progress report from the local University and pointed out that a condition for the maintenance of accreditation was the submission of annual reports.
Following a site visit in 2013 the School of Medicine was granted ‘Provisional Accreditation’ until 2015.
The CAAM-HP details on its website that “at its meeting held July 28, 2014 (it) considered the progress report of the School of Medicine in response to its letter of October 12, 2013. The meeting noted that the Memorandum of Understanding between the University, the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation and the Ministry of Health had been drafted. However, the meeting was not satisfied with the apparent lack of progress in addressing most of the issues identified in the October 12, 2013 letter.
The CAAM-HP expects the School of Medicine to prepare for the limited survey visit in early 2015 before a further determination of the school’s accreditation status can be made.
Part of the requirement from CAAM-HP to facilitate accreditation is the construction of proper facilities at the GPHC to offer instruction to medical students.
But there was no progress in this regard, among other requisite areas, reported to CAAM-HP in the years 2014 and 2015 thus a decision was made to withdraw accreditation from the School of Medicine altogether.
CAAM-HP on its website said that it “expects the School (of Medicine) to prepare for a full site visit early 2016 if it wishes to have any level of accreditation.”
A sum of $30 million for the procurement of laboratory equipment has been approved for the University of Guyana (UG’)s Faculty of Health Sciences as part of ongoing efforts to regain international accreditation for its School of Medicine.
Essentially, a number of shortcomings, including the need for a revamped curriculum and improved facilities, were among the reasons that the accreditation status of the local School of Medicine was revoked by CAAM-HP last year.
Currently, the University is in the process of completing a self study to be submitted to CAAM-HP, and has been gaining support from a Consultant, of Dr. Sarah Strasser of the University of Northern Ontario, Canada to upgrade its curriculum. The curriculum before being submitted to CAAM-HP will have to be approved by the University’s Academic Board.
Additionally, the sum of $30 million was allocated by the University from its 2016 budget for the procurement of laboratory equipment as part of ongoing efforts to regain international accreditation for its School of Medicine.
Until CAAM-HP re-accredits the School of Medicine medical students who graduate with degrees will not be able to utilise them outside of Guyana without first sitting the Caribbean Association of Medical Councils (CAMC) examination.
Last year end, 46 students graduated with degrees in Medicine. Five were non-nationals.
CAAM-HP is a legally constituted body that was established in 2003 under the aegis of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). It was empowered to determine and prescribe standards and to accredit programmes of medical, dental, veterinary and other health professions on behalf of the contracting parties in CARICOM.
Since Guyana is a signatory to the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME), which allows for professionals to work within the CARICOM region without a work permit, the School of Medicine was required to be accredited by CAAM-HP.
This process is done in order to ensure that the degrees throughout CARICOM are equivalent.
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