JIS News

Minister of Information, Senator Burchell Whiteman has said that the Medical School of the University of the West Indies (UWI), had not “lost” its accreditation status with the General Medical Council (GMC) of the United Kingdom.
Responding to questions posed by Opposition Senator, Shirley Williams in the Senate on February 6, Senator Whiteman explained that a change had been made in the United Kingdom Medical Act of 1983 to accommodate the reality of the establishment of the European Union, and this change had altered the traditional relationship which the medical practitioners of commonwealth countries in the West Indies had enjoyed with the GMC of Great Britain.
“The implication of the change in the relationship with the GMC is that it will remove the concept of recognized overseas qualifications contained in the Medical Act of 1983 and introduce a more equitable single form of registration for all overseas qualified doctors,” Mr. Whiteman explained.
Under the new legislation, he said, medical graduates of institutions in the Commonwealth countries would be required to pass the Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board’s test (PLAB).
Reiterating that there was no “loss” of accreditation, Senator Whiteman said a proposal had been made to the Eighth Meeting of the Council for Human and Social Development in CARICOM, and that Jamaica had signed an agreement for the establishment of the regional accreditation body for education in medicine and other health professionals.
Steps would be taken to put the relevant legislation in place, Senator Whiteman pointed out.
Among the questions asked by Senator Williams was whether the Medical School of the UWI had lost its accreditation status with the GMC as of October 2002.

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