The Premier made the disclosure in response to questions from the media during a press conference on current affairs in the Virgin Islands on May 26, 2021.
The Leader of Government Business, in touting big economic and educational benefits of having medical schools in the territory, said Government is looking at having at least three of the schools here.
“We [will] see if we can safely have about three medical schools at the most operating in the BVI at one time, not in the same disciplines but in other areas… you have different type of medicines that you can have to study in,” he said.
The Premier said while medical schools are currently engaging with local authorities, each school that decides to operate in the VI will have to make provisions for locals to be able to attend at an affordable cost.
Premier Fahie said the economic benefits of having medical schools in the VI will be many.
“The more of the schools that operating from here…we have to make sure that we understand that more apartments will be rented, more rental cars will be rented… the economic spin-off will be huge,” he said.
Hon Fahie also indicated that other economic benefits could come for the car sale industry as well as for grocery stores.
More economic spinoffs he said would come with industry professionals working and teaching at the schools, who would also be able to complement the local medical industry.
“And maybe even be in areas that we have not expanded our medical system here, that they can be on the ground to help us not only if there is an emergency but also to help with training sessions for our personnel at the Dr D. Orlando Smith Hospital,” he said.
Hon Fahie promised that by the end of June 2021, more information will come on the industry from the subject minister, Hon Natalio D. Wheatley (R7).
Premier Fahie also indicated that as part of negotiations with the medical institutions, the schools must not compete with the local H. Lavity Stoutt Community College (HLSCC) in terms of their offerings.
“We have to secure our own college and make sure that they are not competing with each other in certain areas, but rather complementing with each other,” he said.
Premier Fahie said negotiations are ongoing to ensure that competition, not only for HLSCC but also the other medical schools, is at a minimum.