Four years ago, the students of the Ross University School of Medicine in Dominica, along with the staff, had to leave the island and move to the main campus in Barbados to continue with their studies. Hurricane Maria left the island in ruins in 2017, and continuing school in Dominica had been difficult to bear.
Ross University was the longest existing medical school in Dominica, operating for more than four decades in Picard, Portsmouth. The campus that used to be full with aspiring Dominican doctors and nurses remained unused for four years. But this will change in 2023.
At a budget hearing in July, Dominica’s prime minister Roosevelt Skerrit announced the opening of the American Canadian School of Medicine next year, filling in the void left by the departure of the premier medical school in the Caribbean. Skerrit said that “the government has received several expressions” about establishing another medical school in the island.
According to the prime minister, the American Canadian School of Medicine will offer four-year degrees in medicine and will be run by “an experienced team comprising doctors who have held positions at major universities in the United States.” This roster also includes a former vice president of operations at the Ross University School of Medicine.
The construction is overseen by CSOM Holdings Limited, and its completion is targeted before school begins in September next year.
“Most of the students are expected to come from Canada, the United States of America and the Caribbean,” said Skerrit.
Aside from the American Canadian School of Medicine, Dominica is also set to open more hospitals and healthcare facilities in the island. The Dominica China Friendship Hospital is almost completed, and the new Marigot Hospital is now complete and the medical equipment and furnishings are currently being installed. The construction of the new Reginald Armour Hospital, which will also be in Portsmouth, will commence soon.
One of the developing companies mandated by the government of Dominica to construct healthcare facilities in the island is Montreal Management Consultants (MMC) Development Ltd., a Dubai-based firm that has been instrumental to the housing initiative of the government.
MMC Development Ltd. is in charge of the development of the New Marigot Hospital and the twelve other health and wellness centres across the island. The centres are “comprised of two floors, and fitted with an emergency area, out-patient clinics, treatment room, as well as accommodation for medical staff,” according to MMC CEO Anthony Haiden.
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