This was disclosed by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Mrs Sancia Templer, as she addressed the second White Coat Ceremony of the Caribbean School of Medical Sciences Jamaica (CSMSJ) on Sunday February 18.
Mrs Templer pointed to the significant improvements that have been made to the security staff and equipment at these health facilities tas a contributing factor to increased patients visits.
In terms of the reduction in patient flow to the Accident and Emergency (A&E) departments of hospitals, the permanent secretary pointed to a combination of improvement to the health care facilities coupled with, improvements in the infrastructure at the St. Anns Bay and Mandeville Hospitals, as two cases in point , have also resulted in reduction of the patients waiting time at hospitals.
Commenting on the other priority areas for the Ministry of Health, she noted that they included the digitization of patient records and telemedicine, pharmaceuticals and drug services, establishing a volunteerism system and a compassionate care programme and public-private partnership through the Adopt a Clinic Initiative, which the ministry has so far received interests from groups of both local and foreign origin, offering to adopt over 60 clinics.
The permanent secretary commended the CSMSJ for their ‘vision to create more opportunities for the training of persons wishing to join the medical profession’ and recommended to the students who were the recipient of their White Coats, the United Kingdom National Health Service(UK NHS) Compassion in Practice Iniative by identifying the six C’s, that are considered important in health care.
These are Care, Compassion, Competence, Communication, Courage and Commitment as they move ahead towards their career goals.
In his remarks, the dean and founder of the CSMSJ Dr Neville Graham, likened the growth of the institution of that of the proverbial ‘Fig Tree’ which has now put down solid roots in its 3rd year of existence.
These include having acquired a chartered status since last July and therefore an ability to grant medical degrees to student from across the world, being listed on the World Health Organization (WHO) list of medical schools, its 3rd year cohort of students are now on clinical rotation at the May Pen hospital and successfully delivering 2 courses in Anatomy to University of Technology (UTECH) dental students that resulted in a 90% pass rate.
Currently there are 25 students enrolled and looking ahead to September’s intake, should see significant growth in the student population.
Dr Graham pointed to the CSMSJ’s goal of ‘building a specialized university of medicine and health care sciences and a centre of excellence in teaching research and the practise of medicine’ which it hopes to achieve through strategic partnerships with both local and international partners in both public and private sectors.
These include the Ministries of Education and Health, UCC, UTECH Dental School, JTECH, CAAMPH, Morgan’s Funeral Home, National Association of Jamaica and Supportive Organizations (NAJASO) University of Havana and the Ministry of Health in Cuba. Western University of Medicine in Oregon and the Samaritan Health Centres and group of hospitals in the USA,
In looking to future, the CSMSJ dean spoke of ‘spreading our wings to the rest of the Caribbean, Latin America, USA, Canada, Africa and Asia in search of international students and to increase our collaboration with local universities in health care, UWI, UTECH, IUC, NCU, for scholarships, grants and research funding as we strive to help Jamaicans with great potential but with limited resources’.
The CSMSJ will also be targeting International donor organisations and governments for assistance through federal loans and grants, to their international students enrolled at the institution.
The private medical school is among 42 other similar institutions in the Caribbean and the only one that is owned by Caribbean nationals, is aiming to charge Jamaican students that are enrolled in September of 2018, fees of not more than US$12,000.00 (twelve thousand) per year for the first two years of their education and training by way of scholarships, Loans (SLB), grants, sponsorship and partnerships with private, public and international institutions.
The White Coat ceremony is a rite of passage, which welcomes new medical students into the medical profession that bounds them by the same professional commitment that binds all physicians.
The ceremony joins the symbol of the White Coat with the virtues of altruism, responsibility, duty, honor, respect and compassion.
The CSMSJ instituted the White Coat ceremony as a means of reinforcing to its medical students, to always do their best for as they receive their symbolic white coat.
A total of 7 students received their White Coats.
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