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TALK BACK: Outcry over BAMP statement


Carol Martindale

TALK BACK: Outcry over BAMP statement

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The Barbados Association of Medical Practitioners (BAMP) is taking some licks from some of our online readers when it called for a reduction in the number of Barbadians trained annually for the profession at the University of the West Indies (UWI).
President Carlos Chase in a Christmas message stated that while there were 36 internship posts at the QEH, there were 90 students in training at Cave Hill.
Our readers said they were taken aback by the comments.
Carl Harper: “. . . The request by BAMP to reduce the number of doctors in training is arrogant and an attempt to protect the status quo. Let market forces dictate how many doctors the country can take. Why should doctors be the only profession guaranteed a job in the government service?
“This profession seems to be the only one guaranteed a job on graduation. All others have to job hunt and submit resumes to start their careers. It is interesting that BAMP is proposing a smaller specialized hospital. . . . The Government should reject those BAMP proposals that are intrinsically self-serving to create shortages, increase costs, and cater to select medical specialties.”
Kathryn Daniel: “I am not a doctor, never wanted to be one and I am taken aback at the call by BAMP to reduce the number of medical students in Barbados. Congratulations, doctors, you have now managed to come across as elitist and protectionist and self-serving to the general public. Imagine the outcry if a graphic designer (such as myself) called on the Government to reduce the number of graphic design students at BCC? And my profession generally does not hold people’s lives in their hands.
“Continue to encourage the brightest and best of our youth to do their best in whatever field. I would hope that when we have a plethora of medical professionals, we could then look at ‘exporting’ them to other parts of the world and raise the overall level of health care. . . .”
Olutoye Walrond: “I think the BAMP president is being misunderstood. Far from being protectionist of the medical profession, he’s looking out for the interests of trainee doctors. Doctors must do internship if they are to graduate, and if the hospital only has 36 places and there are 90 people training there is going to be a problem down the road. The suggestion for limits is therefore not one that will benefit existing doctors, but one to prevent future doctors from running into a road block.”
Michael Goddard: “Let market forces sort it out. If we increase the supply of doctors and demand for health services remains constant then the price of those medical services should come down. That benefits the patients (consumers) and  market signals will slow the rate of new entrants into the medical trade. To try to manage this actively is wrongheaded. At best it smacks of arrogance and ignores economic evidence, at worst it is monopolist and seeks to preserve high revenues for doctors and by way of longer waits and higher prices to the public.”
• Carol Martindale is THE NATION’S Online Editor.

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