(Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands – Wednesday 13th February, 2019): InterHealth Canada – Turks and Caicos Islands Hospital has received significant interest from medical interns locally and worldwide in recent years. In an effort to further improve the quality of care and create a pipeline of future medical talent, the private health care management company has officially applied to become a facility, which is accredited to deliver medical internship programs.
The University of the West Indies (UWI) Accreditation process involves the submission of an institutional self-assessment report by the interested facility. The request is reviewed by the UWI Accreditation Committee and where suitable, a team is selected to conduct an on-site assessment to verify the information provided in the report.
Four members of the UWI Accreditation Committee conducted the on-site assessment at TCI Hospital on February 8th and 9th 2019. The visiting team comprised of Professor Trevor McCartney – Chairman of UWI Accreditation Committee and former Chairman of Caribbean Association of Medical Councils (CAMC), Professor Howard Spencer – Registrar of CAMC, Dr Tomlin Paul – Dean of Medical Sciences UWI Mona Campus and Dr Lenroy Bryan – Lecturer, UWI Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
During the on-site assessment, the team participated in multiple stakeholder meetings and conducted a tour of Cheshire Hall Medical Centre and Cockburn Town Medical Centre. Chief Executive Officer of InterHealth Canada – TCI Hospital, Daniel Carriere gave remarks on past and present certifications pursued by the health care facility. The hospital has acquired three successive Diamond rankings by Accreditation Canada International in 2012, 2015 and 2018.
In addition, the hospital is currently seeking to become a Baby Friendly Hospital (BFHI) and Best Practice Spotlight Organization (BPSO). The latter program is delivered by the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO). Governance certifications were also successfully acquired from the Organization of Information Security (ISO) to bolster security practices for hospital information systems.
Chief of Medical Services, Dr Denise Braithwaite-Tennant underscored the value of strategic alliances in health care and the broad range of internal training programs during her presentation. These programs are designed to foster a culture of continuous organizational learning and development, which paves a strong foundation for an internship program.
These include mandatory training programs, code drills, AHA certified courses and continuing medical education (CME) sessions, which are conducted by in-house and international facilitators. InterHealth Canada TCI is also contractually mandated to provide physicians with access to overseas medical conferences to keep academically up-to-date.
Under the internship program, participants are required to undergo a one-year paid rotation across four of the major disciplines. These are general surgery, internal medicine, paediatrics, obstetrics and gynaecology. These programs are carefully structured in accordance with robust standards to ensure participants acquire the clinical competence necessary to meet the requirements for medical licenses upon completion.
TCI Government has issued several educational scholarships within the field of medicine. Correspondingly, remarks were delivered by Edgar Howell, Director of the Ministry of Education, Youth, Culture and Library Services, and President of the TCI Community College (TCICC), Dr Hugh Fulford. Several local medical students have expressed challenges for the internship component of their studies, said Howell. TCICC has also commenced a nursing program, which will benefit from locally accessible internships. Both education representatives expressed hopes that the medical centres will satisfy the requirements of the surveyors.
Health Registrar for the TCI Government, Dr Derrick Aarons, provided an overview of the role of the health registrar with reference to the relevant ordinance, which makes provision for medical internships. Chief Executive Officer of the Health Regulatory Authority (HRA), Pierre Richardson provided insight into the agency’s role and responsibilities. The HRA was established under the Health Regulations Ordinance 2016 and shall serve as an independent regulatory agency of public and private health care facilities in-country.
Chief Executive Officer of the National Health Insurance Board, Dr Terese Maitland gave remarks on the collaboration between TCI Hospital and the National Health Insurance Board (NHIB), which is responsible for the management of the contributory social health care scheme. The NHI Plan is the health financing mechanism for the delivery of health services in the country, which includes overseas tertiary level and catastrophic care.
Leader of the UWI assessment team, Professor McCartney commended InterHealth Canada for the comprehensive nature of the meetings and other stakeholders for the effort to maintain high standards and regulations. The Canadian company was also commended for the introduction a Public Private Partnership health care model in the Caribbean. The Minister of Health, Honourable Edwin Astwood also attended a portion of the sessions in support of the internship pursuit. The findings of the on-site assessment will be reviewed in the next UWI Accreditation Committee meeting in April or March 2019 and later released to the hospital.