The Department of Health, Welfare and Aged Care is currently exploring options to address the shortage of pharmacists in the country following discussions with Sir Arthur Lewis Community College (SALCC).
The discussion focused on the development of programs at Sir Arthur Lewis Community College to provide training for health professionals.
The Minister of Health, Hon. Moses Jn Baptiste, says he is very pleased with the willingness of the SALCC team to work to resolve this issue, especially as pharmacists play a vital role in the infrastructure of country health care.
“Principal Dr Keith Nurse approached us and suggested that we meet on the issue of pharmacists and possible collaboration between Sir Arthur Lewis Community College and the Department of Health, Welfare and Aged Care to to see if a program can be developed at Sir Arthur Lewis Community College to train a pharmacist and pharmacy technician not only to meet our urgent need in Saint Lucia, but also to train young people seeking opportunities in the field medical, health and wellness to become a pharmacist in the future.”
The Principal of Sir Arthur Lewis Community College, Dr Keith Nurse says the problem of shortage and migration of pharmacists continues to affect the country and therefore his institution will work diligently to address this issue.
“There is a clear need and demand to fill not only the shortage, but also the potential flow for this profession. We also recognize that this is a huge employment opportunity for young people in Saint Lucia and what is needed is to have a fully accredited professional program that will provide these skills to young people so that they enter the profession.
The Dean of SALCC’s Department of Health, Wellness and Human Performance, Prisca Regis-Andrew, says her institution remains committed to the education of health 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 are committed to working with the Ministry of Health and the public sector to remedy the situation. Sir Arthur Lewis Community College has in fact agreed to go back to the drawing board and prepare a proposal that will resolve the situation as soon as possible.
The Department of Health will continue to work with Sir Arthur Lewis Community College on research, accreditation and other relevant aspects of program development.