Jul 27, 2016 News
The process of regaining accreditation for the University of Guyana (UG)’s School of Medicine is an ongoing one that requires the support of the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC). And the GPHC has certainly been playing its part in this regard.
The School of Medicine lost its accreditation last year and has been instructed by the Jamaica-based Caribbean Accreditation Authority for Education in Medicine and other Health Professions (CAAM-HP), to put a series of measures in place if it is to regain accredited status.
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. A local business has given support to this venture.
But according to Chairman of the Board of Directors of the GPHC, Dr. Carl ‘Max’ Hanoman, efforts are being made to make the instructional facility a money-making venture.
Dr. Hanoman, who in March assumed the Chairmanship of the public hospital, spoke of plans to utilise instructional facilities at the GPHC to train offshore medical students. This of course will be done at a cost, he related. The fee that this venture attracts will go towards “retooling” the hospital, Dr. Hanoman posited.
“We will buy equipment…so in six to eight months’ time different areas of the hospital will be ‘full service’, so that we wouldn’t have a problem when the accreditation team comes,” said an optimistic Dr. Hanoman, who noted that this is especially important for the School of Medicine.
This publication had in March of this year reported that CAAM-HP on its website detailed 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.”
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 GPHC 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 School of Medicine was urged by CAAM-HP to prepare for a limited survey visit in early 2015 before a further determination of the school’s accreditation status could have been made.
Part of the requirement from CAAM-HP was the construction of facilities at the GPHC. 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.
Dr. Hanoman has long had a keen interest in the accreditation status of the School of Medicine. In fact it was Dr. Hanoman, who was at the time Director of the School of Medicine and then Vice Chairman of CAAM-HP, along with Dean of Health Sciences, Dr. Emanuel Cummings, who paved the way for the initial accreditation of the School of Medicine.
CAAM-HP had visited UG in 2006 to conduct a survey to verify whether the School of Medicine met its 139 standards. The standards were created to deal with education resources and staff development among many other areas.
In 2007, the University of the West Indies (UWI) was accredited, while UG had to examine some areas of governance and facilities. This was subsequently done.
In reviewing their submission, CAAM–HP accredited the medical programme at UG in 2009, essentially allowing for UG to join UWI and St. George’s in Grenada and the Ross University in Dominica, as accredited medical schools in the Caribbean.
However, with the loss of the accreditation status, the UG Medical Degree is no longer recognized outside of Guyana, a state of affairs that UG officials hope to have change in the very near future. A total of 46 medical students graduated from UG last year. They will not be able to utilise their degrees outside of Guyana without first sitting the Caribbean Association of Medical Councils (CAMC) examination.
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