Govt., SALCC partner to train locals to become pharmacists and other trained healthcare professionals
CASTRIES, ST. LUCIA — The country continues to struggle with a dire shortage of healthcare workers, especially as the world regains its feet after the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic.
In light of this, the government of St. Lucia has hatched a plan in collaboration with Sir Arthur Community College (SALCC) in an effort to train more healthcare workers in a short period of time.
According to the college’s principal, this new partnership is a significant employment opportunity not just for the nation’s youth but for anyone who has been interested in joining the medical field and/or the health sector.
The ambitious scheme could spark a new trajectory for the labour market in St. Lucia, giving way to more locals being gainfully employed in prestigious, high-earning jobs in healthcare.
At the same time, it could also contribute to a more highly skilled, highly educated workforce, which in turn would augur well for the economy and nation as a whole.
Job opportunities in health
Both Minister of Health Moses Baptiste and SALCC officials spoke to the tremendous employment potential of this new healthcare partnership.
SALCC Dean of the Department of Health, Wellness and Human Performance Prisca Regis-Andrew said, “We are well aware of the situation of the shortage of pharmacists here in St. Lucia and the negative impact it is having on our healthcare delivery.
“We have committed to work together with the Ministry of Health and the public sector to address the situation…within a short timeframe.”
The college’s principal, Dr. Keith Nurse, noted, “There is a clear need 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 people in St. Lucia and that what is required is to have a professional program that’s fully accredited that would deliver these capabilities for young people to enter the profession.”
As for his part, Minister Baptiste added, “Dr. Nurse approached us and suggested that we meet on the issue…to train pharmacists and pharmacy technicians.”
He said the end goal behind this partnership for healthcare training was “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 pharmacists in the future”.