St. Lucia is making concerted efforts to fill in the demand for pharmacists and health care professionals.
The Ministry of Health, Wellness and Elderly Affairs is currently exploring options to address the pharmacists’ shortage in country following discussions with the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College SALCC.
The discussion focused on the development of programs at the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College to ensure the training of health care professionals.
Minister for Health Hon. Moses Jn Baptiste says he is very pleased with the eagerness of the SALCC team to work towards addressing this issue especially given that pharmacists play a vital role in the nation’s health care infrastructure.
“The Principal Dr. Keith Nurse approached us and suggested that we meet on the issue of pharmacists and the possible collaboration between the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College and the Ministry of Health, Wellness and Elderly Affairs to see whether a programme can be developed at the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College to train pharmacist and pharmacy technician to not only fill our dire need in Saint Lucia but possibly to train young people who are looking for opportunities in the medical field, in the health and wellness field to become pharmacist in the future.”
Principal of the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College Dr. Keith Nurse says the issue of shortage and migration of pharmacists continues to affect the country and therefore his institution will work diligently to assist with this problem.
“There is a clear need and demand for filling not just the shortage but the potential flow through for this profession. We are also recognizing that this is a huge employment opportunity for young people in Saint Lucia and what is required is to have a professional program that is fully accredited that will deliver these capabilities for young people to enter the profession.”
Dean of the Department of the Health, Wellness and Human Performance of SALCC Prisca Regis-Andrew says her institution remains committed to the training of health care professionals in Saint Lucia and the Caribbean.
“We are well aware of the situation of the shortage of pharmacists here in Saint Lucia and the negative impact it is having on our health care delivery and we have committed to work together with the Ministry of Health and the public sector to address the situation. Sir Arthur Lewis Community College has actually agreed to go back to the drawing board and prepare a proposal that will address the situation in a short time as possible.”
The Ministry of Health will continue working with the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College in regards to research, accreditation and other pertinent aspects of development of the programmes.