NASSAU, The Bahamas – The Minnis Administration is committed to the task of reforming and modernizing healthcare delivery in The Bahamas that protects the dignity, well-being and life of those in the care of public health services, Prime Minister, Dr. the Hon. Hubert Alexander Minnis said Monday.
This included making provisions earlier Monday for medical students to receive funding in order to attend their orientations scheduled for the next morning, Tuesday, June 20, 2017.
“This morning as I was leaving my office six medical students approached me and were very, very concerned that there were no provisions made for them to commence their Internships especially after their parents and our government had made such great sacrifice,” Prime Minister Minnis said, as he addressed the 2017 Graduation Ceremony for Medical School Graduates, University of the West Indies (UWI) School of Clinical Medicine and Research (Bahamas) at Melia Nassau Beach.
“I can say to those students that I have directed the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance to find the funds so you will be able to attend your orientation tomorrow morning.”
Prime Minister Minnis said his Government is fully committed to continuing the investment in the Clinical and Research Programmes at the UWI School of Clinical Medicine and Research (Bahamas).
Health officials say “there is no doubt that we have to rebuild the health manpower throughout our nation as over the next many years it is anticipated that there will be a significant physician shortfall.”
Investing in the country’s healthcare sector, they say, will lead to improvements in the health “of all of our people.”
Prime Minister Minnis said UWI has been an excellent nurturing ground in the development of Caribbean leadership in so many different disciplines, including its medical programmes.
A record 44 medical students graduated from the programme Monday night as medical doctors.
“Throughout history, physicians have been keenly engaged in subjects and matters that go beyond medicine, including the formation of public policy,” Prime Minister Minnis said. “We have entered a phase in The Bahamas where we are producing a stronger and better prepared cadre of students who are well-equipped to undertake the rigors of medical education. This positive result is reflective of the level and standard of the teaching faculty of the University, which has produced such phenomenal results.
“We have come far in terms of the impact of this particular programme. Twenty years ago when the School of Clinical Medicine and Research was established, few may have imagined that we would ever achieve the level of success evidenced over recent years. This speaks to several positive developments,” Prime Minister Minnis added.
A graduate of UWI (Jamaica), Prime Minister Minnis is one of three former students of UWI who were physicians who went on to become Prime Minister of their respective countries.
“I have no doubt that in time, others will do likewise,” The Prime Minister said.
Prime Minister Minnis applauded the graduates for their steadfastness, perseverance and commitment.
“Graduates, we are proud of each and every one of you. I fondly remember my studies at UWI and my time as a young doctor. There remain some grueling days and nights ahead of you as you seek to put onto practice what you have studied. But always remember: Service first and foremost. This includes an ethics of care.
“I salute your parents, your families and all of those who would have supported you to this stage of your professional journey.
“You are entering one of the noblest professions. The mindset you bring and the decisions you make will mean the difference between life and death, and disease and wellness. I look forward to your service in the Government of The Bahamas.”