Offshore medical schools no substitute to UG- VC

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Vice Chancellor of the University of Guyana (UG) Dr Ivelaw Griffith said offshore medical schools operating here should not substitute UG’s medical school as they are a “far cry” from what is really needed in Guyana.

Vice Chancellor, Professor Ivelaw Griffith

“Many of those students come to us asking for a transfer, I say there is nothing like a transfer from X to Y, you have to apply,” the VC told reporters earlier this week at a media luncheon at the Herdmanston Lodge.

According to Griffith, in one instance, a group of students from one of the medical schools approached him, however, they did not meet the minimum requirement to enter into UG’s medical school.

“We don’t want you to be unsuccessful as our student. We want when you come you can be successful. I want a doctor who can pass math and biology and chemistry. So, it is not about the money,” he emphasised.

“Any thought about our medical school being an “either or” is a thought that needs to be dispensed with,” he argued. The VC said the onus is on all stakeholders to make the necessary investments towards the foundation for education in medicine in Guyana.

The University’s medical school currently has a three-year accreditation. The VC said there are some issues the school must address, including being able to attract full-time lecturers.

“We have a compliment of part-time lecturers who are not able to give their full dedication and attention to the university.” The VC said the challenges facing the medical school and the university, stem from years of neglect. These are things that the institution is working to address. Another of the challenges facing the medical school is the inadequate facilities.

Last year, the government of Guyana signed an agreement with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) for the construction of a new school of medicine complex for $8.5 million. When that complex is completed, it will address one of the “weaknesses of not having the facility to include teaching.”

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