The Trinidad and Tobago Medical Association says it is concerned about the lack of employment for qualified medical professionals and in particular House Officers in the public sector. They estimate that there are close to 200 doctors who continue to seek permanent employment.
In a statement today, the association says a one-year internship after graduation makes a doctor legally able to practice across the Caribbean in private institutions, and on their own in a private practice. They believe that there may not be enough experienced garnered in this year for junior doctors to stand on their own in private practice without the support of senior input.
The association acknowledges the difficulty in postgraduate education program placement and the Ministry's claim that specialist Consultants are needed in 11 fields of medicine. They believe that it is lamentable that T&T cannot produce home-grown candidates and say it’s partly as a result of lack of employment and spaces in special education programs, for young doctors to train to become specialists in those fields.
The Medical Association says each of the 11 fields mentioned by the Minister of Health requires specialized training that can only occur with employment in a primary centre/hospital setting
They blame these factors for the "brain drain" that they say has plagued the profession
The Association says it is always, willing to work alongside all stakeholders to address the issue.