FREEPORT, Grand Bahama, The Bahamas – Presenting the keynote address at Western Atlantic University School of Medicine’s (WAUSM) White Coat Ceremony at Grand Lucayan resort on Saturday, September 10, 2022, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance the Hon. Philip Davis commended the 39 medical students on their accomplishments.
He also remarked that the university’s Grand Bahama campus was an important contributor to tourism, through both education and medical tourism sectors.
The Davis Administration and WAUSM signed an amended Heads of Agreement in January to provide “a more profitable structure for The Bahamas with removal of the moratorium on medical schools.”
Prime Minister Davis said the government has marketed The Bahamas as ideally located for foreign and direct investment, tourism and travel; and while congratulating them on their accomplishments thus far, he encouraged the WAUSM students to spread the word about their Bahamian experience during their medical residency.
“After your time here students, candidates, I hope that you will all want to recommend this unique Bahamian Edu-tourism experience to all of your families, friends, and colleagues,” he said.
It was a proud moment for the medical scholars who strutted across the stage as their loved ones looked on.
The Prime Minister also praised WAUSM for believing in the Bahamian economy and partnering with the government.
“I commend WAUSM for its commitment to diversity in education and its confidence in our national economy, notwithstanding the recent challenges in Grand Bahama with Dorian and the pandemic,” he said.
“I’m confident that your best days are ahead of you and with the government as your partner, there are many public/private partnership opportunities that we can exploit as we work together to build the economy of Grand Bahama, the WAUSM local brand, the education community and an unmatched legacy of experts in medical education.”
The government, he noted, is already investing in two new state-of-the-art hospitals in Grand Bahama and New Providence, completing several poly-clinics and mini hospitals in the Family Islands, and upgrading many existing health clinics, comprising a major step forward in upgrading the infrastructure of the country’s healthcare delivery system.
Additionally, the government is expanding the country’s telemedicine capacity and provision of specialized medical care to ensure it is available in every government clinic, inclusive of the Family Islands, the prime minister said.
“We are also continuing to go towards the provision of universal healthcare coverage. This is foundational to the way Bahamians can access health-care services,” he said while pointing out to the medical students that all of those initiatives hold opportunities for them once they complete their studies.
This latest White Coat Ceremony was the third such ceremony for the university, which boasts the newest and most contemporary campuses in international medical education. Situated just 80 miles from Florida, its pre-clerkship campus in Freeport allows easy access to and from the United States and Canada.