The medical school which the previous NDP government approved to operate in the British Virgin Islands back in 2018 will now take and even longer time to commence operations.
Responding to queries from BVI News via email, Founder and President of the university, Dr Orien Tulp said the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the initial timeline set out for the opening of the medical facility.
He said: “The pandemic has made our initial timeline a bit longer, but we’ve been utilizing this time to design and plan a very effective, diverse, yet agile school. Our curriculum committee is conducting a careful review of our accreditation application and we are so proud to be including Tortola and the BVI as a part of that.”
Plan to hire locals
Dr Tulp also confirmed that he plans to hire locals once operations begin at its intended location at the James Young Harbour View Marina in East End.
“UHHVI plans to employ a number of local faculty and administrative support staff when fully open in Tortola, corresponding to the number of students enrolled. We are planning to acquire a permanent campus as soon as it is practical and feasible,” he stated.
Accreditation still ongoing
In the meantime, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Carolyn Stoutt-Igwe said the medical facility - the University of Health & Humanities, Virgin Islands (UHHVI) - is also still undergoing its accreditation process and must get accredited before it can commence operations on Tortola.
“Up until two weeks ago, they were finalising the application because the accreditation process is not a simple process, there’s a lot of paperwork that you have to go through,” she explained.
UHHVI is seeking its accreditation from the Caribbean Accreditation Authority for Education in Medicine and other Health Professions (CAAM-HP).