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Lloyd Announces End Of Unlimited Uwi Subventions

Jeffrey Lloyd, Minister of Education.

Jeffrey Lloyd, Minister of Education.

By RICARDO WELLS

Tribune Staff Reporter

rwells@tribunemedia.net

EDUCATION Minister Jeffrey Lloyd has announced that the 2018/2019 academic year will be the last year of unlimited subventions for Bahamian students enrolled in the medical programme at the University of the West Indies.

Addressing the issue in Parliament yesterday, Mr Lloyd said while the government will live up to its obligation to all Bahamian first-year medical students now enrolled at UWI, only students who appear on the school's official enrolment list, which was presented to the government earlier this year, will be considered.

He also made it clear that the service will be capped at 25 scholarships a year moving forward.

According to Mr Lloyd, the decision comes partly due to the fact that the country's healthcare system cannot "efficiently and professionally" support more than 25 scholarships for medical studies at UWI each year. "It cannot. It will not," Mr Lloyd emphasised.

He stressed that at current trends, anything in excess of 25 students a year, would mean that students would work without the benefit of "proper, valuable, necessary internship training and post training."

He added: "Without the disciplined rigorous training that a profession as medicine demanded, untrained, poorly trained, ill-equipped and ill-prepared doctors could and would become a serious liability to the Bahamian and visiting public."

Mr Lloyd revealed that over the past five years, there has been an increasing number of UWI graduates and non-UWI Bahamian graduates seeking training opportunities in the country's healthcare system.

Referring to a contribution by Health Minister Dr Duane Sands earlier this year, Mr Lloyd acknowledged the massive logistical, fiscal and ethical nightmare the influx continues to generate.

Mr Lloyd noted that an official letter was sent by Dr Robin Roberts, director of UWI's School of Clinical Medicine and Research Bahamas, to UWI informing the institution that the Bahamas could not sustain more than 25 students, and that only the top 25 applicants for the MBBS programme at UWI should be identified and their names forwarded to Dr Roberts for approval of the subvention.

However, Mr Lloyd said the intended plan was unsuccessful, adding that the school proceeded with the common practice of granting scholarships to any Bahamian student that qualified for acceptance, backed by a subvention from the Bahamian government.

Mr Lloyd further revealed that as of September, the government was financially supporting 57 first-year students at UWI's three campuses - nine at Cave Hill, 12 at Mona and 36 and St Augustine's.

Additionally, there are 33 year-two students, 44 year-three students and 44 fourth-year students who, upon completion, will come home to start their clinical training in 2019 at either Princess Margaret Hospital or Rand Memorial Hospital.

"There is a total enrolment of 252 across many disciplines at UWI," Mr Lloyd said. "In total, the Bahamas government is subsidising the education of 134 medical students at UWI."

He continued: "If all of the subventions across the three UWI campuses and local UWI programmes were totaled, we would be expected to pay - in 2018/2019 - the university $9,474,576. That's $9,400,000 plus of the $17.8m spent on all scholarships - 53 percent.

"More than half of all scholarship monies spent by this government goes to UWI. That must be recalculated.

"There is a need for doctors," Mr Lloyd said. "Yes, there is also a need for radiographers, lab technicians, medical technologists, nurses, patient care specialists, occupational therapists, phlebotomists, surgical technologists and physician assistants."

Comments

sheeprunner12 6 months ago

Is the Government pulling back on UWI ........... to transfer these disciplines to UB??? HMMMMMMM

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tell_it_like_it_is 6 months ago

Please... UB got real university status yet?
A university should have a full research department (along with many other things missing from UB)... still waiting...

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Schemer18 6 months ago

Okay from the time Llyod & the other laid backs just realized the country needs trained Bahamians in these capacities: "radiographers, lab technicians, medical technologists, nurses, patient care specialists, occupational therapists, phlebotomists, surgical technologists and physician assistants." So to tell me when are they going to attract the young Bahamian students in their senior year of high school to make preparation for a deserved Bahamian Scholarship, to attend a University to pursue these sciences to come back after completion to serve their country? So what are they waiting on another election, when they should now be preparing the way of the economy for Bahamians?

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The_Oracle 5 months, 4 weeks ago

Schemer, that list has been fulfilled by Bahamians. They're all working in the Florida Medical industry.

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sheeprunner12 5 months, 4 weeks ago

So true ........... MOE have big ceremony and ten of millions spent every year sending these "smart students" to the US, Canada and England on Treasury money .......... and they don't come back after they graduate ........ at least most of the UWI grads come back home.

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sheeprunner12 5 months, 4 weeks ago

If Lloyd wants to save some money .............. close all dem little Out Island schools (like in Cat Island) and have ONE central school per island ............... set up magnet high schools and stop trying to duplicate 25 programmes in every Nassau high school (save 300 teachers) .............. Stop giving away all of our Treasury money to these johnnie-come-lately lousy so-called private schools (no quality, no $$$) .................. and stop giving all these PEPs these contracts to "maintain" condemned schools every year ......... $100 million a year savings.

BTW ............ What are they paying Marcellus Taylor and those other deadweights to be "technocrats" for???????

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TheMadHatter 5 months, 4 weeks ago

Of course he is correct doing this - although he is wrong on most issues.

Why should we spend money training Bahamians to be doctors so they can go off and get nice jobs in Canada and the USA - while we hire people from Philippines who we can treat like dogs because we know they wont risk their work permit.

Use that UWI money to hire more dogs.

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DDK 5 months, 4 weeks ago

Sometimes you ARE terrible!

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TheMadHatter 5 months, 4 weeks ago

DDK, my sarcastic way of saying that we should have BAHAMIAN doctors and nurses and PAY them well and treat them well.

Of course this can't happen because there is no money. The majority of their patients use plantain as a monetary currency.

That's why this new 2% payroll tax for health is so very very stupid.

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birdiestrachan 5 months, 4 weeks ago

sleepy Time Jeff it will soon be over, your one and only time in the house of assembly. Then you can just sleep the rest of your life away..

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