EYEWITNESS: Achieving standards…


…at Med School

Well, thank goodness! UG Medical School (UGMS) just regained its accreditation. Of course, the VC, fresh from his (albeit poorly attended) coronation, made the announcement so that (unwary) folks could assume he had something to do with the fortuitous circumstance. Nothing could be further from the truth! There are, however, conditions attached to the accreditation – which will be valid between 2017 and 2021.

Maintaining and raising standards at our Med School has to be made a top priority. To begin with, the Cuban facility that delivered some 500 trained doctors is now over.

In any case there were (and ARE) some questions about the quality of that programme – and maybe if there are in fact any gaps in the training of those doctors they should be brought up to scratch through special courses at UGMS. Can the VC look into this?

According to news reports, starting with the first class that graduated in 1995, there have been 500 doctors injected into our medical system by UGMS. By whatever measure these Cuban and UG doctors have boosted our per capita doctor ratio by at least a factor of five.

According to the CIA fact book, our rate was only 2.1 doctor/10,000 back in 2010. But this doesn’t mean we can rest on our laurels.

Right now, we’re living in the age of specialisation. Medicine trains its doctors to deal with the various organs of the body and nowadays there’s a specialist for practically every organ you can think about. UGMS needs to train specialists! But where do we get the qualified specialists – along with the necessary specialised equipment – to take our doctors from being General Practitioners (GP’s) to becoming specialists? Maybe the VC can answer that question!

And this is why the Government’s scuttling of the Specialty Hospital, which was to be funded by a soft loan from the Indian Government, was such a backward decision. Here was our opportunity not just to rake in foreign currency via “medical tourism” but we would’ve been able to expose our very youthful medical corps to specialist training right here in Guyana. As it is, we have to send our doctors abroad – and risk them never coming back!

The point your Eyewitness wants to make, therefore is that re-accreditation of UGMS is a great first step – but only a first step. Healthcare is a fundamental right of our citizens.
But that right’s only satisfied when the State does what’s necessary to deliver that care. Spend on UGMS!

…in cricket

Another big relief for your Eyewitness is the CPL season kicks off today over in Lauderhill in Florida!! And not a minute too soon – since like the cricket fanatic you know he is, dear reader – he’s been holding his breath for the last month!! But more importantly, his beloved Guyana Amazon Warriors take on the St Kitts & Nevis Patriots tomorrow at 11 am at the same venue.

Since he wasn’t able to wangle a flight to the land of Ponce de Leon and his Fountain of Youth, you know your Eyewitness will be glued to his TV set tomorrow. Where the Warriors will deliver some of his youth back to him!!

Now, this isn’t just empty jingoism! In an era where our once-vaunted world-beating teams just can’t seem to get their act together, the professional Warriors have been just that – PROFESSIONAL!! Just as in medicine, Cricket’s moved light-years beyond what the amateur sport used to be.

And your Eyewitness was told by his Chinese friend, this is “The Year of the Warriors”!!!

…in sugar

Here it is August’s upon us – and the “May-June rain” is still going as strong as ever. So, what happens if the “Big Crop” is smaller than even the ridiculous “Lil Crop”?
Still no subsidy?


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