The Health Ministry on Monday, 31st of October, 2022, launched the Pharmacy Assistant training programme in Region Two. Some 27 persons will benefit from nine months of training from a compressed curriculum. Health Minister, Dr Frank Anthony noted that with the expansion of the healthcare system, the need for medical personnel increases.
He said the establishment of a new hospital in Anna Regina will require more trained staff.
“When that hospital is completed, we would have a hospital that can cater for over 70 patients, with two new theatres, and outpatient facilities. We will have a new accident and emergency department, and a new imaging suite which would mean not just x-rays, but CT scans and so forth, all done at this public facility. When we look at the staffing needs to operate the hospital, we see that we will need more nurses, more laboratory technicians and so forth. Therefore, it is important that we start training people.
“The easiest thing to do is to create the new facility and equip it. The hardest part is to have adequate staff. What you’re seeing here today, and what we’re trying to do, is make sure that we can start training more and more people and be able to do it in the region.”
Minister Anthony pointed out that this is in keeping with the health ministry’s efforts to decentralise these training programmes so that they are extended in areas where the need is greater.
“We have persons that will be able to run these training in the region so the students will come to us here and go home in the afternoon and the faculty will be local. So, there is no reason why we can’t extend this program to the regions,” the minister stated.
Assurance was given that the compressed form of the curriculum does not diminish the value of the material.
“It does not mean that we are leaving things off. You would have to spend more time, and the tutors will have to go through it with you so that you adequately cover the material. You have to make the effort and study hard.”
The minister also emphasised that the training serves as a gateway and that there are multiple opportunities for upward mobility.
“Now that you’re starting as a pharmacy assistant, maybe later on once you’ve gained some experience you may want to go into pharmacy. Those opportunities are going to be there, so there can be career paths that you would be able to navigate.”
He also expressed intentions to make additional training programmes, such as Medical Laboratory and Imaging, available in the region so that more persons can access this training.
Chief Medical Officer, Dr Narine Singh, Deputy Director of the Division of Health Sciences, Chandroutie Persaud, Regional Health Officer, Dr Ranjeev Singh, Regional Chairman, Vilma DeSilva, Vice Chairman, Humace Oudit, Nephrologist attached to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation, Dr Hemchand Barran, Chairperson of the Health and Sanitation Committee, Arnold Adams, Regional Pharmacist, Sookdeo Singh and other officials were also present at the ceremony.