SAINT JAMES MEDICAL SCHOOL OFFICIALLY OPENED

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By admin August 29, 2011 10:31 Updated

SAINT JAMES MEDICAL SCHOOL OFFICIALLY OPENED

 

A campus ribbon-cutting ceremony and a gala cocktail reception and dinner at Viceroy Hotel were the combined grand events which marked the official opening of the Saint James School of Medicine in Anguilla last weekend, August 12 and 13. The occasions came a year-and-a-half into the operations of the institution which placed the introduction of its teaching programmes, enrollment, accreditation, and even its first graduation of students, well ahead of its formal opening.

 


Anguillian Ministers and Governor (top right) with Medical School personnel from Anguilla and Bonaire at Viceroy Hotel
Anguillian Ministers and Governor (top right) with Medical School personnel from Anguilla and Bonaire at Viceroy Hotel

The history of its establishment in Anguilla was outlined by President and CEO of the Saint James School of Medicine, Dr. KallolGuha, on Friday, August 12. He began with approval by the Anguilla Government and endorsement by the British Government, the latter of which took approximately fourteen to sixteen months. He was grateful that both the Governor’s Office in Anguilla, along with the Minister of Social Development and Health and the Government on a whole, had played a decisive role in having the medical school approved and listed with the World Health Organisation (and the International Medical Education Directory (IMED).


Dr. Guha presenting plaque to Governor Harrison
Dr. Guha presenting plaque to Governor Harrison

“We, the administration, faculty, school and everyone else, feel very happy that finally this hurdle is over and we are now prepared to move forward with our plans of expansion,” Dr. Guha said. He observed that although their application was made in 1998, he and his colleagues did not regretthat hurdle and other difficulties as those challenges were extremely valuable and were greatly appreciated.


Anguillian and Saint James Officials and others
Anguillian and Saint James Officials and others

He indicated that the students’ admission fees were reasonable compared with other institutions and his school was doing everything to satisfy and maintain the requirements and academic standard of accreditation. He said that at present students were admitted from the United States and Canada and later on the medical school would be opened to all international students. He also looked forward to the time when the school would be making available scholarships to many of its students. There are currently three Anguillian students who are attending the medical school on scholarships awarded by the institution.


Governor Harrison, Dr. Guha and Mr. Baird cutting ribbon
Governor Harrison, Dr. Guha and Mr. Baird cutting ribbon

Governor Alistair Harrison paid tribute to everyone who had been involved in the discussions about the medical school which resulted in the happy occasion of its official opening. Among others, he credited former Minister of Health, Evan Rogers, and the present Minister, Edison Baird, for their role in working along with their Chief Minsters and the school’s personnel in the negotiations. He was particularly grateful to the Minister for the Overseas Territories, Henry Bellingham, who dealt with the matter when he visited Anguilla in September last year, and helped to speed up the accreditation issues in London, thus making a big difference in the bureaucratic process.


Saint James Personnel, students and others
Saint James Personnel, students and others

Governor Harrison was of the view that both Anguilla and the students would benefit from the school. He noted thatAnguillians had a small island and a small economy – were heavily dependent on tourism, the construction industry, financial services and one or two other industries. He thought that the addition of something new, like the medical school, was extremely good. He stated that although the students could not contribute as much as tourists, they would form part of the economic life and culture of the island.

“I think that having the school is extremely good news for Anguilla and very good news to all of us. Congratulations for reaching this milestone,” Governor Harrison added.


Unveiling Saint James School of Medicine plaque
Unveiling Saint James School of Medicine plaque

Dr. Jay Pandit, Dean of Clinical Affairs with the Saint James School of Medicine, joined the President and the Governor in expressing gratitude to all those who were involved in the school’s establishment in Anguilla. He afterwards introduced Minister Edison Baird, the next speaker, whose ready availability and assistance he was particularly pleased with.

“I am proud of the role that I have played in bringing the St. James School of Medicine to fruition,” Mr. Baird stated. “I would also like to place on record the help that the former Minister of Health, Mr. Niel Rogers, gave by laying the foundation…I feel honoured to be participating in this inaugural ribbon-cutting ceremony. It has been a long time coming, and I am pleased to see that the Saint James School of Medicine is now well-established in Anguilla. It has taken hard work and dedication on the part of its staff as well as Government officials. I would like to congratulate all of you who worked tirelessly to bring this project to fruition.

“As I have said in other fora, we are glad to have the Saint James School of Medicine, faculty and students here in Anguilla. I believe it represents a mutually beneficial relationship. The students benefit from a quality education, the school benefits from its ability to attract qualified students against the beautiful backdrop of Anguilla, and Anguilla benefits from revenue and business generated from having the school. We also benefit from opportunities for continuing education, community education and other health-related initiatives.


Mrs. Dawn Reid, DG Stanley Reid, Bishop Errol Brooks and Governor Harrison
Mrs. Dawn Reid, DG Stanley Reid, Bishop Errol Brooks and Governor Harrison

“The Saint James School of Medicine has been in operation since 2010. Today’s ribbon-cutting ceremony marks a very important occasion. It is symbolic of all the planning, preparation and work that went on years before its commencement of operations was possible. Since 2010 the school has received IMED (International Medical Education Directory) listing and has seen a dramatic increase in the number of students it has been able to attract. The Government of Anguilla remains committed to facilitating the St. James School of Medicine’s operations. We are working diligently on facilitating students’ immigration matters and the importation of cadavers. Moreover, we look forward to collaboration in research, continuing education and other health-related initiatives.”

Mr. Baird, who also spoke at the gala cocktail and dinner on Saturday night, August 13,along with the other original speakers at the ribbon-cutting ceremony, the day before, said then: “The Government of Anguilla and my Ministry, in particular, advocated very strongly to have St. James listed, and I am happy to see that this has finally happened. What I see as a success for the Saint James School of Medicine, I see as a success for the Government of Anguilla. I also fought hard to ensure that the Government adhered to the Memorandum of Agreement which stipulates that the Saint James School of Medicine remains the only school established in Anguilla for at least the next ten years.”

Other speakers were the school’s Chief Operating Officer and Registrar, ShirshaGuha; Raj Mitra, Director of Admissions; and Dr. Claude-Bernard Liliou, Dean of Basic Sciences, Anguilla.

Invited guests at the ribbon-cutting, gala cocktail and dinner, included officials from the Governor’s Office, Government and administrative personnel and the principals of the Saint James School of Medicine and its affiliate in Bonaire.

admin
By admin August 29, 2011 10:31 Updated

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