Posted on

Trinity University School of Medicine coming to SVG

Trinity University School of Medicine coming to SVG

Share

The $22 million a year industry that was snatched away with the closure of the Kingstown Medical College is coming back, and with a bang.{{more}}

The Miami-based Trinity University School of Medicine (TUSOM) is set to open its doors in St Vincent this coming September.

In Parliament last Thursday, February 21st, Minister of Health Dr Douglas Slater announced that by year’s end a medical school will open its doors here.

Ironically, one of the schools that had applied for the charter to operate here is a subsidiary of St George’s University; the same university that pulled the plug on its affiliate, the Kingstown Medical College, in December last year.

While Dr Slater did not say which school will be given the charter, SEARCHLIGHT has been reliably informed that TUSOM has won the charter and is expected to sign the official 30-year agreement in less than one month’s time.

A quick perusal of the TUSOM website (www.tusom.org) will also confirm this.

“It gives me great pleasure to welcome students of Trinity Medical School to St Vincent and the Grenadines,” a letter written by Governor-General Sir Frederick Ballantyne, dated 19th February, 2008, which is posted on the website, states:

“Our country is reputed to have trained some of the best doctors who now hold top positions in hospitals and medical schools in the United States. It is my hope that Trinity will work hard to maintain this tradition of excellence…” the letter continues.

During his parliamentary statement, Dr Slater said that despite claims by the Opposition to the contrary, the pull out by Kingstown Medical College was simply a business disagreement.

When the 25-year agreement signed on September 19, 1978, between the government of this country and St George’s University came up for review in 2003, the Unity Labour Party administration made it clear that an exclusivity clause of the original agreement will be reviewed “with a view to discontinuing it.”

“We saw it as limiting our ability to negotiate with any other entity that may wish to establish such operations,” Dr Slater said.

This direction apparently did not please the management of St George’s University, and this is believed to have triggered the downsizing, and eventual pull out.

Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace has claimed on several occasions that he believes that the medical school’s pull out was due to this country’s “strident” relationship with Venezuela.

This theory now seems shaky, bearing in mind TUSOM is an American University, and St George’s University was bidding to return, while the diplomatic relationship between St Vincent and the Grenadines and Venezuela remains the same.

LAST NEWS