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Cuban-trained medics being treated ‘unfairly’

GERCINE CARTER, [email protected]

Cuban-trained medics being treated ‘unfairly’

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INDEPENDENT Member of Parliament Dr Maria Agard has spoken out against the treatment meted out to Barbadian doctors trained in Cuba.

The Christ Church West MP’s frustration over the issue was shared by attorney at law and Opposition MP for St James North, Edmund Hinkson, in the Lower House on Tuesday. They both said Barbadian students seeking accreditation in Barbados after studying in Cuba had endured difficulties for “far too long”.

“I consider it to be unconscionable for a country like Cuba to have demonstrated such ability in the field of medicine and yet when our students study in Cuba, there is some question to their ability to return and practise in Barbados,” said Agard, a dentist by profession.

Speaking on the Caribbean Accreditation Authority Education in Medicine and Other Health Professions (Incorporation) Bill, Agard also gave a background to the establishment of the University of the West Indies School of Dentistry where she studied, and outlined problems of accreditation for its students in the early stages.

She said: “I believe that if there is a conflict in terms of how medical students returning from Cuba are to be treated, it behoves this Government to make the necessary and timely interventions to ensure that the disgrace of a Barbadian student, having studied in Cuba, does not have to seek refuge in Jamaica or St Lucia, or Trinidad in order to practise the trade that they have studied so diligently.”

Weighing in on the Cuba accreditation issue, Hinkson said: “This can’t be allowed to continue to the detriment of the advancement of our young people and our country.” (GC)