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Only one medical school in Saint Lucia is accredited

By SNO Staff

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Atlantic University School of Medicine was located here in Rodney Bay, Gros Islet. It is now in Antigua.

With the recent announcement of the Atlantic University School of Medicine’s (AUSM) move to Antigua after seven years of operating here, the issue of accreditation of local medical education institutions has taken centre focus.

Education Minister Dr. Gale Rigobert has confirmed that AUSM was not accredited and has been, along with other medical schools on island, under pressure from government, regional and international certification bodies to gain their required qualification.

Minister Dr. Gale Rigobert

According to Dr. Rigobert, the Spartans University is the only accredited institution.

In April this year, medical students were informed through letter that if they graduated from a non-accredited school they would not receive Caribbean Accreditation Authority for Education in Medicine and other Health Professions (CAAM-HP) certification, and hence will not be eligible for the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) qualification either.

This means that the students will not be able to complete other core medical examinations and therefore not be able to become United States or Canadian doctors.

Since the circulation of the April letter, there has been mounting pressure on local institutions to get accredited.

Some Caribbean and St. Lucian schools have survived without accreditation for years as there had been provisions to allow graduates from non-accredited schools to sit a qualifying exam in order to ensure certain standards were met. But according to the education minister, such alternate routes which are “outside of established protocols” have been closing in.

“Late last year, that entity in the US asked of the Ministry of Education here in St. Lucia, which of its schools are accredited and whether it is [that] the graduates of the medical schools are eligible to be licensed in Saint Lucia. According to the existing protocols, which have preceded me incidentally, for a graduate of a medical school here in St. Lucia to be licensed to practice in St. Lucia, that student has to graduate from a medical tertiary institution that is accredited,” she explained.

“The answer to the simple question, ‘which schools are accredited?’… Yes to Spartans, no to the others,” she said.

Dr. Rigobert further commented on St. Lucia’s accreditation standing as compared to the region.

“… Further, it has been brought to my attention that we are being asked to adopt the protocols of other countries in the region and I’ve been reliably advised that in effect, St. Lucia is well ahead of the curve and that the jurisdictions to which others are referring are way behind and in fact are aspiring to reach where St. Lucia is,” she said.

The minister further noted that government has been working to find the best permanent solution to the issue.

“We have been very careful what we do and what we say with respect to the medical schools in particular because we recognise the importance of what they do here. We recognise that peoples’ dreams are contingent on what we say and what happens thereafter,” she said.

“We also recognise too that there are various spinoff sectors that benefit from the presence of those medical schools on island. We have therefore worked overtime to ensure that we find a comprehensive and legal fix to this problem, resisting the temptation to paste a plaster unto it and for the problem to re-emerge next five or 10 years,” she stated.

Schools which have been taking steps to ready themselves for accreditation will get a chance to gain this certification, as a CAAM-HP site visit is expected to come through in that regard.

AUSM will commence classes from September 7, 2017 in Antigua. The school has a student population of 120 and is expecting a larger enrollment for its January semester.

As it stands, only graduates of Spartan University are licensed to practice in St. Lucia.

 

(9)(7)
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40 comments

  1. HEAR ME AND HEAR ME CLEAR...THE UNDERLYING SOURCE OF THE START OF THIS PROBLEM IS THE FACT THAT ST LUCIA DOES NOT HAVE AN ACCREDITING BODY...EVERY CARICOM MEMBER OF STATE HAS ONE EXCEPT ST LUCIA...HAVING A GOVERNMENT CHARTER TO OPERATE YOUR BUSINESS IS NOT ENOUGH...THEY NEEDED THAT BODY ACCREDIT AND ALLOW ALL THE GRADUATES TO PRACTISE MEDICINE IN THE HOST COUNTRY(ST LUCIA)...HOW IN GOD'S NAME THEY EVEN HAD PERMISSION TO HAVE RECOGNITION BY CAAMHP OR ECFMG IS A GROSS OVERSIGHT BY THOSE BODIES...HOWEVER, ECFMG CAUGHT ON AND WAS WARNING ST LUCIA TO EITHER GET THEIR OWN ACCREDITATION BODY(WHICH THEY REFUSED OR USE THE CAAMHP..WHICH THEY LAZILY OPTED FOR)...THE SUMMARY IS ST LUCIA, I SAID IT RIGHT...AND I REPEAT ST LUCIA.. HAS FRAUDULENTLY ALLOWED THE OPERATION OF MEDICAL SCHOOLS ON THE ISLAND BY NOT HAVING AN ACCREDITATION BODY...CAAMHP IS FAIRLY NEW AND CAME INTO ACTIVE EXISTENCE A DECADE AGO...SPARTAN HAS EXISTED SINCE 1980 ON THIS ISLAND, ST GEORGE'S SINCE 1977..SO THEY ARE OLDER THAN THE BODY ITSELF...THIS MEANS BEFORE CAAMHP CAME INTO BEING..ST LUCIA ALLOWED MEDICAL SCHOOLS TO FRAUDULENTLY OPERATE..AND THEY NEVER BOTHER TO FIX IT...NOW THAT ECFMG HAS PRESSURED THEM THEY ARE PUSHING THE SOLE RESPONSIBILITY OF ACCREDITATION ON ECFMG...IF THEY HAD AN ACCREDITATION BODY THEY WOULD HAVE REGULARIZE LONG AGO AND THE CORRUPTION THAT GREW IN THE SCHOOLS ON THE ISLAND HAPPENED BECAUSE NO ONE TOOK NOTE...THEY ARE ALL TO BLAME, AND NOW EVERYONE WILL SUFFER...WHILST OTHER ISLAND AND WORKING HARD TO KEEP THEIR INVESTORS TO ENSURE THEY ARE IN LINE AND TO STIMULATE GROWTH FOR THE PPL...GET IT TOGETHER ST LUCIA..LEARN TO LEAD IN MEDICAL EDUCATION AND NOT FOLLOW..YOUR CHILDREN ARE TIRED OF SWEEPING, MOPPING AND MAKING THE BEDS IN HOTELS..A NEW PATH SHOULD BE MADE FOR THE FUTURE.

    (9)(0)
  2. Spartan has partial accreditation which is not recognized so it's technically not accredited! Think they need to read the Caam go documents

    (7)(0)
  3. Stephen Stillmans

    World Directory of Medical Schools
    https://search.wdoms.org/home/SchoolDetail/F0002374

    (3)(0)
  4. I am hearing that another medical school, IAU, has today announced that it is moving to St Vincent.

    (0)(0)
  5. Most people are confused but the informed among us know exactly what went on and is persisting. Those so-called schools want to use our State institutions (Ministry of Education/ Commerce) as a cover/conduit into misguiding others about their accreditation. I guess this government have refused to grant that cover. Lambirds for example operated under the pretext that they were based somewhere in Gros Islet, North America. An official government cannot be part of such misrepresentations. That's why Lambird's directors would have been properly charged with fraudulent misrepresentations instead of Human Trafficking (which was either done knowing or unknowingly that the charge would be unsuccessful; and that is perhaps also why the prosecutors have stayed away from Court in order the matter may be dropped). Many things happen which result in politicians pulling wool over the eyes of the public. However little did they realize that when you charge someone with Human Trafficking you had an equal obligation under international law to provide for the victims. St. Lucians, being the political gor gors that they are, allowed the complicit politicians to trick them into believing that the victims were just a strain on our resources and that we should repatriate victims (witnesses) immediately, although, knowingly to them that without the victims/witnesses there would be no future case.

    However, for all those reading and who are complicit, don't think that you have tricked the all of us, as we are there to think for those who are incapacitated. And we are calling on the Government to launch an inquiry into the matter with urgency.

    (3)(0)
  6. Trust me “certain people knew about this a long time ago” in situation like this some people palm was getting greased “paid” really well.

    (2)(0)
  7. Wait and see the next medical school pop up and you all will understand ur government

    (0)(0)
  8. Isn't it ironical that Mister Gale Rigobert is so particular about accreditation of medical schools to the point that only Spartan is accredited. Yet she knew as well as her other officials the fact that the Venezuelan Medical school where our 21 students got scholarships for was not accredited and still denied them new ones to an accredited school! Now that's hypocrisy to the max St Lucian's!

    (8)(0)
  9. It is high time that the government puts pressure on those medical schools. I am sick and tired of these schools sucking out money from locals and foreigners giving useless degree. I know of individuals who finished and can't even practice here unless they do USMLE or another licensing exam. I had gone to the ministry a few years ago to ask about AIMU's accreditation and I was told that the school was accredited. Now I am hearing a different story. The school itself would say that they are accredited by the ministry but the medical and dental association would not recognize such a degrees straight out of AIMU.

    (3)(0)
  10. They just want local students to not have any options other than to take the scholarships in Taiwan, venezuela and cuba. Why else are they sabotaging local schools. Look at what she says. They were the ones that told the accrediting body no after they were the ones that gave the schools permission. Sabotage.

    (10)(7)
    • Yes, the government of the day may be able to give initial permission, however during such reasonable time the school must work on its accreditation. After which time they may be denied. Accreditation is a process. Please note that the Ministry cannot accredit institutions, that's the job of regional and international bodies. If we choose to employ their graduates as properly qualified professionals, its our choice, but we would now open ourselves up to a deluge of lawsuits. So your point is erroneous and devoid of facts.

      (2)(2)
      • How is it "erroneous and devoid of facts" if you just agreed to a part of it? The schools being targeted are fairly new schools, accreditation from international and regional bodies takes time which the schools are not being given. The approval from the ministry was the determining factor in the ECFMG saying no to these schools. I have actually done my research, so before you sit there and throw labels at me, actually do some fact checking.

        (8)(0)
        • Your argument is predicated on you saying that "They just want local students to not have any options other than to take the scholarships in Taiwan, venezuela and cuba. Why else are they sabotaging local schools."

          You have not given any reason for that. I saying that the government gives an initial permission in no way agrees with your assertion of "sabotage." The government always have a discretion in allowing an unaccredited institution to operate but at the same time it must be responsible enough to understand the risk of doing so. It appears at this time that government is unwilling to take this risk with those schools as its reputation is at stake. meanwhile a Minister is not responsible for giving approval it is the job of the Ministry after it has examined all information available to it. Do you know if a Minister makes such a decision, that they can be challenged by judicial review? Because its a governmental process. Therefore the Minister is only asserting that the Ministry found no reason to continue approving them so she has to submit that information to the accrediting agency.

          Please note that the veracity of a statement is based on the message that it conveys even though that it contains a fact.

          (0)(1)
          • Have a look at the facts, you can look these up for yourself.

            Spartan was founded in 1980 which was 37 years ago.
            The newer schools were founded in the 2000's, less than half the time of Spartan's existence.
            Spartan got PARTIAL accreditation in 2013, which means it had over 30 years to get approval and accreditation, it is STILL not fully accredited by Caam-hp. (check their website if you don't believe me).
            The government gave these newer schools only a couple years to get something that it took Spartan almost 40 years to get.

            If you can't see something is suspicious there, I don't know what to tell you.

            (1)(0)
  11. Docteur suh papier

    But the real question should be; why were these schools established in St.Lucia knowing that they aren't accredited? Are we just doing haphazard things in this island? I personally know of individuals who took out thousands of dollars in loans to attend AIMU. Has such a huge investment gone down the drain and the fools who accepted this school to practice here not give a ____? We really need to ensure that the proper measures are established instead of trying to rectify things when the damage has already been done. Otherwise, this country will go to the dogs...

    (17)(1)
  12. st lucia is well behind on technology, step your game up!

    (4)(0)
  13. st lucia is well behind in technology.. step ur game up!

    (1)(0)
  14. I before that that school was not accredited, and was the first person to do so, even posting as link as evidence. The neg mawons promptly gave me thumbs down. Now see it there! Good riddance! Antigua can have them.

    (6)(3)
  15. every other medical school is going to close this is horrible this country is done

    (9)(8)
    • What service are non accredited medical schools doing for Saint Lucia/Lucians? I get that the students were renting from locals, eating from restaurants, buying groceries, etc. But, if you're training people in an non-accredited institution, you'd want them to care for your sick family members in their time of need? In a time of emergency? Or go overseas, and get sued for wrongful death, and give St. Lucia/Lucians AND the school a bad name? Non accredited means that their curriculum does not meet international guidelines and standards. So, they will not know what everyone else knows, educated in the same field, and in the same job market.

      I really await your response, annoymous.

      (7)(0)
  16. so then my question is if the school is not credited then what is their point in moving to antigua when the school does not have the credited qualifications. its seem is some borborl that school on

    (9)(4)
    • You correct. Those medical schools are running fraudulent institutions. Remember the one in Gros islet? AIMU. Police raided them, arrested and charged the CEO. Rather than government taking a closer look at the medical schools SLP operatives accused the police of playing politics. Dr. Rigobert, successive governments have known this but did nothing about it. They became accomplices in international corruption. There is a former Minister of education who went secondary schools giving perspective students the assurance AIMU was accredited knowing very well this was not true. By the way, last time I checked Spartan only had a partial or temporary accreditation. S minister check your facts.

      (8)(1)
    • Pressure on every side, deal with it!

      (0)(1)
    • There you are! Because they want to use our State institutions (Ministry of Education/ Commerce) as a cover/conduit into misguiding others about their accreditation. I guess this government have refused to grant that cover. Lambirds for example operated under the pretext that they were based somewhere in Gros Islet, North America. An official government cannot be part of such misrepresentations. That's why Lambird's directors would have been properly charged with fraudulent misrepresentations instead of Human Trafficking (which was either done knowing or unknowingly that the charge would be unsuccessful and that is why the prosecutors stay away from Court). Many things happen which result in politicians pulling wool over the eyes of the public. However little did they realize that when you charge someone with Human Trafficking you had an equal obligation under international law to provide for the victims. St. Lucians, being the political gor gors that they are, allowed the complicit politicians to trick them into believing that the victims were just a strain on our resources and that we should repatriate victims (witnesses) immediately, although, knowingly to them that without the victims/witnesses there would be no future case.

      However, for all those reading and who are complicit, don't think that you have tricked the all of us, as we are there to think for those who are incapacitated. And we are calling on the Government to launch an inquiry into the matter with urgency.

      (2)(0)
  17. Nothing in st lucia has values unless it is own by the C's and the D's y'all really take lucian for fools. You can fool some of them but not all of them. My point is if something is broken fix it to make it better don't throw it away. All you do is take care of yourselves and your family and make excuses to get rid of hard working citizens of this country to make way for foreigners. St Lucia is desperately in need of a leader right now we are in shit street.

    (18)(16)
    • What exactly are you trying to say? Are you sure you wanted to post on this thread? Because this has nothing to do with the topic.

      (7)(7)
    • If I have to agree with you, you will have to add the A's, B's and G's. But seeing that your point is not a relevant one to the topic at hand, I could only take it as pure political rhetoric. While you may be under a misguided illusion that those you have singled out control the wealth, you may be surprised to know who has the real money in this country. The problem is that we criticize people who invest, while we drink the rum that they manufacture with our money. All of us who are poorer can pool together and make a DSH, however, we use these energies to fight political battles against ourselves, which means that foreigners will now have to come to fill up the void in investment and create jobs. This leaves politicians to campaign on a pretext that whoever can bring in more of these foreigners is the best suited to lead.

      You see how stupid your logic is? But the comfort that I have is in a positive assumption that you are not a young person, because the youth of today sees right through this traditional, irrelevant political hoax.

      (1)(0)
  18. And when sins have been forgiven, there is no need to offer any more sacrifices.

    – Hebrews 10: 18

    (3)(7)
    • oh shut up man!!!!!!!! you start again. stop saying things that is irrelevant.

      (2)(2)
    • why you hate me so mi bredda, what mi afi done to ya? mi nah even know you rasta. Just giving praises to Jah Jah.

      (1)(1)
      • Don't take it as HATE, that's the mistake that the current (millennials) generation is making and that's why there is so much war and violence among them. Take it how he says it, with no malice. If someone criticizes you that doesn't mean that they hate you, besides, you have to know someone in order to hate them and by the looks of it neither of you know each other. PEACE.

        (4)(0)
        • My bro, I am not the one writing the scriptures that I post and the reason why I post them is that someone somewhere my be inspired or touched by it.
          One Love mi bredda!

          (1)(0)
      • i dont have a problem with you praising jah. i have a problem with you making senseless statements that has nothing to do with the situation at hand.

        for example, people talking about a particular subject, you just coming in with some far fetched thing that does not pertain to the subject at all what so ever.

        at least if you giving us an example of something and then quote a verse pertaining to that example then fine, but your not!!!. people talking about cooking a one pot with greenfig and fish but you just out of the blue want to put rice and peas in that same pot to cook in it.

        (1)(0)
  19. Well. I was right

    (0)(4)

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