(Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands – Thursday 20 June, 2019): InterHealth Canada – Turks and Caicos Islands Hospital has been granted accreditation status from the University of the West Indies and Caribbean Association of Medical Councils (C.A.M.C) to offer medical internships. The Chairman of the UWI Accreditation Committee, Professor Trevor McCartney along with a team of other industry experts conducted an onsite assessment in February 2019 following an application by the private healthcare management company.
Medical graduates are required to successfully complete a one-year rotation in the four major disciplines of Internal Medicine, General Surgery, Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Paediatrics. These medical interns must commit three months to each discipline to become eligible for full registration in their home state, and meet the clinical and academic requirements for registration in all CARICOM states.
Medical interns are physicians who have successfully completed all of the requirements to receive provisional registration and practice licenses. Medical interns receive training for a period of 4 to 5 years prior to graduating as doctors. The advancement of the internship program involves a partnership between InterHealth Canada (IHC) and the Turks and Caicos Islands Government (TCIG). While the UWI accreditation grants the hospital the option to commence rotations as early as July 1st, 2019, additional steps are required.
The next step involves the submission of an application to become a locally registered teaching hospital under the Ministry of Education and the presentation of a business case to TCI Government via the Change Procedure outlined in the Project Agreement. This proposal will seek funds to support four new medical intern positions and four registrar level positions. A multi-stakeholder meeting involving local entities is planned to discuss the implementation process.
Commenting on the accreditation, Dean of Medical Sciences at the UWI Mona Campus, Dr Tomlin Paul stated: “The Faculty of Medical Sciences, UWI Mona, is delighted to have news of a successful accreditation of the Turks & Caicos Islands (TCI) Hospital. This augurs well for the continued education of our Medical Graduates from the TCI. We look forward to working with the Hospital’s Administration in the continued development of Human Resources for the Caribbean Health Sector.”
Chief Executive Officer at IHC-TCI Hospital, Daniel Carriere stated: “Our successful accreditation as a teaching facility via the University of West Indies denotes a major milestone for the TCI Hospital. The fact that we will host medical interns will dramatically enhance our ability to continuously improve service delivery for our patients. The associated expectations will also provide a platform to develop other teaching programs, greater flexibility in our staffing requirements within the medical services and decrease our reliance on locum appointments. In addition, the teaching designation will further support the recruitment and retention of highly skilled staff.”
Chief of Medical Services at IHC-TCI Hospital, Dr Denise Braithwaite-Tennant stated: “The introduction of medical interns is expected to increase our physician-patient ratios, accelerate learning, drive innovation, improve health outcomes, enhance the patient experience, quality of care and patient safety. Consultants will supervise the medical interns’ performance and guide their professional development. Our objective is to transform the long-standing single consultant physician model overtime to a multi-level skill mix of consultant, registrar and medical interns. Many Turks and Caicos Islanders have expressed interest in returning home for their medical internships. The accreditation is the first step towards eventually accommodating these requests. Patient safety is our number one priority and building local human capacity remains a key strategic imperative.”
Minister of Health, Agriculture, Sports and Human Services, Honorable Edwin Astwood stated: “Congratulations to the Turks and Caicos Islands Hospital, InterHealth Canada for its successful application to become a facility accredited by the University of the West Indies to deliver medical internship programs. The Ministry of Health, Agriculture, Sports and Human Services worked collaboratively with Dr Braithwaite-Tennant and the hospital team to show case our capacity to facilitate knowledge sharing and transfer. Academic medicine challenges physicians to work as multi-disciplinary teams and promote a comprehensive and multifaceted look at a patient’s condition and treatment plan, ultimately helping the hospital team provide the best care possible. The increased physician-patient ratios and the change in the physician model by creating a tiered structure seeks to foster an environment of sustainable learning and health system improvement.”
Minister of Education, Youth, Culture, Social and Library Services, Honorable Karen Malcolm stated: “We are excited and proud of the work IHC has done in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Department of Education to obtain this accreditation status as a teaching hospital. This milestone achievement means that our medical students can now do their internship here within the Turks and Caicos Islands. We will continue to work with IHC and all stakeholders to make this vision a reality.”
TCI Government Health Registrar, Dr Derrick Aarons stated: “The achievement of accreditation for the medical internship programme by InterHealth Canada with the support of the Turks and Caicos Islands Government (TCIG) is to be widely acclaimed! This matter is also timely as the TCIG is currently implementing three Councils to regulate the health professions within the country. The Medicine and Dentistry Professions Council will provide registration for suitably qualified medical interns to work under the direction and supervision of a specialist in the related field of medicine. This process should auger well for improved health care delivery to the citizens and residents of the Turks and Caicos Islands.”