Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh has announced plans to transform the Port-of-Spain General Hospital into a premier teaching hospital.
During his contribution to the 2024 Budget debate in the Parliament on Tuesday, he said that change would make T&T a centre of excellence for medical training in this part of the world.
According to Deyalsingh, it will be a medical campus befitting the capital city, and the Ministry of Health (MoH) has already signed an agreement with the University of the West Indies, St Augustine Campus.
He said: “This is going to be a place for medical education. This is going to be a place for scholarship. This is going to be a place for enhanced healthcare. This is going to be a place where our doctors, nurses, pharmacists and allied healthcare workers, EMTs, can find the most up-to-date world-class training and then funnel into the health ecosystem either here or abroad. It is going to drive innovation.”
The ministry will assemble a joint committee by month’s end with an infrastructural review and development framework to follow in the coming months. Deyalsingh said some young doctors cannot find jobs in T&T because existing vacancies are for specialists and sub-specialists. He said UWI’s medical programme has 20 specialities, which the new campus will incorporate, including nursing care, pediatric nursing and pharmacy.
Deyalsingh said the first intake will be for oncology students on January 31st, 2024.
“I urge our young doctors to come on board because the opportunity you may not be getting now is because we have enough young doctors. What we do not have enough of, and the doctors know this, you know, are specialists and sub-specialists. We do not have enough pediatric cardiologists. We do not have enough nurses to talk about asthma,” he said.
Deyalsingh also discussed programmes to tackle high rates of diabetes and hypertension.