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Cabinet has given approval for drafting instructions for legislation, which is intended to allow for the creation of a regional body to be named the Caribbean Accreditation Authority for Education in Medicine and other Health professions.
Information Minister, Senator Burchell Whiteman, made this disclosure at the post-Cabinet press briefing held at Jamaica House yesterday (January 10).
The Minister said the need for an accreditation body for medical and other health professionals from within the Caribbean hemisphere arose, as recently “it was made known that the accreditation which graduates of the University of the West Indies (UWI) had, by virtue of being part of the British Medical Association and their regulatory body, was under challenge because of the participation of Britain in the European Union arrangements”.
Subsequent to these arrangements, he said professionals from UWI and the Caribbean region would not be considered in the same light as they had been previously, “when essentially Britain was a part of the Commonwealth”.
The Minister said since then, work had been done towards the development of a Caribbean Accreditation Authority for medical and health professions, with the signing of an agreement to establish the Authority taking place at a meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government in St. Lucia in 2003.
Senator Whiteman informed journalists, that as the Authority would be functioning under certain protocols and it would be a necessity for certain laws be passed in order to give effect to the agreement, “Cabinet approved drafting instructions for the legislation to give effect to the agreement”.
Furthermore, he disclosed that the agreement also called on Jamaica’s annual quota contribution in the amount of US$64,052 to the Caribbean Health Education Accreditation Board, to be paid over a three-year period.
He argued that there was no question of “the quality and worth of our Caribbean health professionals” and that the fact that they were well respected abroad, was testament to their combined academic and professional expertise.
As such, the Minister said the establishment of the Accreditation Board would “be relatively easy as over the decades, the performance of our doctors who have graduated from medical school in the Caribbean has been such throughout North America, they are held in high repute, and the same goes for our nurses and those with advanced nursing qualifications”.
Mr. Whiteman said the Caribbean accreditation body will “give substance to the reputation and work of the medical faculty and the attendant health professional faculties operating out of the UWI and within the Caribbean”.

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