The Rt. Honourable Philip Davis, Prime Minister of The Bahamas recently emphasized the need for partnership between the Government and medical professionals. As keynote speaker at the recent oath swearing and awards ceremony for the graduating Class of 2022 of the University of the West Indies School of Clinical Medicine & Research (UWI SCMR), Prime Minister Davis called on the thirty-five new physicians to view their medical practice as a tool for national development.
“One of the best ways to ensure the good health and wellness of our nation is for there to be productive partnership between the Government and members of the medical profession. Given the role that doctors play, it almost goes without saying that you must be at the forefront of that partnership,” Prime Minister Davis told the graduates.
“If ever we were ignorant before, through the experiences of the [COVID-19] pandemic and Hurricane Dorian, none of us can be in any doubt as to the valuable roles you play in securing the health of our people. We should never tire of saying thank you for all that doctors have done and continue to do to help our people,” he added.
Prime Minister Davis acknowledged that doctors have made sacrifices and suffered physically and mentally as a result of the demanding fight against COVID-19, especially during spikes of new cases and the onset of new strains of the virus. This era, he noted, signaled a “near collapse of the healthcare system” which the Government is now working to repair and strengthen through various initiatives.
He noted that the Government has plans to build new state-of-the-art hospitals in Grand Bahama and New Providence—“a major step forward in upgrading the infrastructure of our health care system”. The Government has also expanded the provision of Family Medicine specialists such that it is “well on track” to ensure that every government clinic throughout The Bahamas has a permanent doctor. Finally, he noted, the Government continues efforts towards universal health coverage, which will result in a “foundational change in the way Bahamians can access health care services”.
Given that such developments are underway just as the graduates enter the workforce, Prime Minister Davis invited them to envision ways that they can offer support.
“You have the opportunity to help and guide the future such that healthcare in The Bahamas can form part of your personal legacies. The government is doing its part in providing a framework and structure for good health and wellness,” said Prime Minister Davis.
“At each stage and step of the way, we must clearly answer the question ‘what is the right thing to do’. What can you do? I trust that each of you already has a vision for your career that includes how you will help those who seek your care. There is much that you can do to support national development,” Prime Minister Davis added.
Prime Minister Davis reminded the graduates that by accepting the Government’s subventions that offset the cost of their education, they have already entered a partnership with the Bahamian people—agreeing to serve in the public health care system upon graduation.
“I hope that the satisfaction of this obligation is not viewed as a chore, but as an opportunity to practice your profession among and on behalf of your countrymen,” said Prime Minister Davis. “In so many ways, The Bahamas and, indeed, the whole world is in need of healing. By your [Hippocratic] Oath and the symbolism of your white coat, I pray that you bring your best selves to play your part in that effort.”
The UWI SCMR Class of 2022 includes: Dr. Jared Albury; Dr. Eddyka Dean; Dr. Norshanti Bain; Dr. Brandon Deveaux; Dr. Teria Bain; Dr. Kevin Farquharson; Dr. Travis Bartlett; Dr. Chelsi Gibson; Dr. Morganne Bethel; Dr. Ge’Anne Hilton; Dr. Avé Bethell; Dr. Narkirsha Lightbourn; Dr. Caneicia Bowles; Dr. Pedro Neely; Dr. Georgia Bowe; Dr. Adunola Olurin; Dr. Aaryanna Brown; Dr. Nathaniel Perpall; Dr. Shanae Butler; Dr. Kyle Saunders; Dr. Celine Cartwright; Dr. Zarya Seymour; Dr. Rose Charles; Dr. Angelique Smith; Dr. Matio Cleare; Dr. Devante Smith; Dr. Greganique Cooper; Dr. Lashanté Stubbs; Dr. Felice Cox; Dr. Micheala Stubbs; Dr. Avery Cunningham; Dr. Khesanh Turnquest; Dr. Barbrianna Dawkins; Dr. Lheyintz Vincent and Dr. Charles Virgill IV.