(Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands, Wednesday, July 28th 2021): InterHealth Canada – Turks and Caicos Islands Hospital held a press conference on Thursday, July 22nd, 2021, to relaunch two educational programs that seek to raise awareness of healthcare careers to help improve the currently limited local medical expertise in the domestic workforce.
During the press conference, remarks were delivered by Dr. Denise Braithwaite Tennant – Chief Executive Officer at TCI Hospital, Hon. Erwin Jay Saunders – Minister of Health, Hon. Rachel Taylor – Minister of Education, Hon. Kyle Knowles – Member of Parliament for Wheeland, Dr. Sani Amatti – Deputy Chief of Medical Services at TCI Hospital, and Dr. Jacqueline Moe-Cox – Education and Training Manager at TCI Hospital.
The READY observership program seeks to provide upper-level high school students with a behind-the-scenes look and in-depth knowledge about professions in health care. Due to the ongoing pandemic, the program is delivered in a virtual format over three days with practical and theory presentations delivered by health care workers. The program commenced on Wednesday, July 21st, 2021.
The Clinic Exploration program seeks to target students pursuing a health carerelated course at a tertiary level institution and ordinarily resident in TCI. The program spans ten days and comprise of virtual and onsite sessions. The onsite sessions include a skills lab on phlebotomy, suturing, vital signs, manual handling, applying splints, Heart Saver, and Basic Life Support training. There is also a requirement to deliver a 20-minute presentation. TCI Hospital is accredited and licensed as a teaching hospital, and the program commenced on Monday, July 26th, 2021.
Commenting on the relaunch, Dr. Denise Braithwaite-Tennant, Chief Executive Officer at TCI Hospital, stated: “The program started in 2012, and we currently have two graduates of the program who are now physicians. There is Dr. Raven Saunders, who is working with the Ministry of Health, and Dr. Royelle Robinson, who is working at the TCI Hospital’s Emergency Department. ” She continued: “There is a worldwide shortage of health care workers, which the COVID-19 pandemic has worsened. We are continuously partnering with the TCI Government, TCI Community College, and the TCI Ministry of Health as we recognize that there is a need to build local capacity.
“The TCI Government scholarship policy currently includes even more areas in health care. Hon. Rachel Taylor, Minister of Education, stated: “Our scholarship policy currently addresses areas in healthcare including medicine, medical technology, environmental science, health care management, psychiatry, psychology, health, and safety. Therefore, we plan to review the education policy within the year, and it will definitely relate to other areas of concern. During the process, we will partner with the Minister of Health who will guide us accordingly.
” Hon. Erwin Jay Saunders, Minister of Health, stated: “This is a great initiative because there is a shortage of medical personnel. We are competing with the world market now, trying to find staff to fill in when the Cuban Brigade leaves the TCI, and I am certain that we will solve this problem. However, we are very short on local medical talent in almost every area. This program encourages students and holds their hands, and helps them to get across the finish line. I wish to thank everyone who is a part of this program. This is a major initiative, and I encourage you to stick with it and use the experience.
” Hon. Kyle Knowles, Member of Parliament for Wheeland, stated: This is definitely a wonderful opportunity for many of our youth across the Turks and Caicos Islands. The initiative has really shown success stories. Having two persons who would’ve initially started and are now medical practitioners shows the program’s overall success. I want to encourage our young people across the country who are now looking at career paths. There are more opportunities, and as the Minister alluded to, we are making significant strides to broaden that scope so that we can, at some point, have a fully staffed medical facility with Turks and Caicos Islanders. “