Health Minister Dr Fuad Khan says the Chancery Lane Teaching Hospital in San Fernando is expected to begin training medical students this November.
The complex, located next to San Fernando General Hospital (SFGH), was originally scheduled to be commissioned in May.
However, Khan told Newsday this commissioning “would only have been for four floors.”
“I asked that the opening be delayed until we had completed the overpass between the teaching hospital and SFGH, outfitted as many floors as possible and completed the parking garage. It didn’t make sense to me,” Khan added, “to have opening after opening each time we completed a section. I prefer to get as much done as possible and have one major opening (ceremony).” Once the Chancery Lane Teaching Hospital is ready to begin offering medical students practical training, it will need more doctors and nurses than are currently available in the country.
Hence the decision, Khan said, to hire nursing staff from St Vincent and Grenada, as well as from India and the Philippines.
“We will be using doctors from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as well as medical teaching staff from the University of the West Indies. Also, we are working with the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT) and COSTAATT (College of Science, Technology and Applied Arts of Trinidad and Tobago) to develop a training programme for ancillary medical staff. This includes ultrasound technicians, lab technicians and bio-medical technicians.”
The facility was formally opened by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar on December 28, 2012.