Seafarers support doctors’ postgrad studies

| 20/10/2017
CNS Local Life

(L-R, seated) Christen Suckoo (education ministry), John Douglas (CISA) and Lizzette Yearwood (HSA); (L-R, standing) Deniston Tibbetts (CISA) and Dr Delroy Jefferson (HSA) at MOU signing

(CNS Local Life): The Health Services Authority (HSA) and the Cayman Islands Seafarers Association (CISA) have signed a memorandum of understanding to provide scholarships to two Caymanian HSA doctors to complete their postgraduate studies in the field of medicine. The scholarship recipients are Dr Irka Ebanks, who is studying naturopathy and herbal medicine at College of Naturopathic Medicine in London, and Dr Lorna Jackson, who is engaged in studies leading to a doctorate in family medicine at the University of the West Indies in Jamaica.

The scholarships provide full funding for the doctors to obtain specialty training overseas for up to four years. Dr Ebanks began her three-year course in October 2015 and is expected to graduate in October next year. “It has been a real blessing to be awarded a scholarship from the Seafarers Association,” she said. “I started my studies without the aid of a scholarship or sponsorship and was unsure how I would finish the course. It took a lot of dedication to my studies, prayer and patience to qualify so I was overwhelmed when I received the confirmation email from the Scholarship Secretariat.”

Dr Jackson expects to complete her doctorate in family medicine in May 2019. “I’m honoured to be selected as a recipient of the Seafarers Scholarship which allows me the opportunity to fulfill my passion of becoming a primary healthcare practitioner,” she said. “I believe a greater focus on primary healthcare assists in the prevention of chronic diseases which so often have a debilitating effect on the people of our society.”

CISA president John Douglas said the minister of finance approached the organisation to sponsor local doctors studying to become specialists, and “by understanding the need in our community our members thought it was a very important initiative to support, and we are very proud to do so”.

The Ministry of Education and the HSA managed the scholarship’s application process, along with the interviews, before selecting the recipients.

“I am very grateful that the support for training of doctors in specialist areas has been made a priority by the education ministry, as this funding is critical for succession planning in the physician services,” said HSA CEO Lizzette Yearwood.

“I would also like to thank the Seafarers Association for their eager acceptance to support improving the quality of healthcare at the HSA as they have done in the past and continue to do.”

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Category: Education, Medical and Health, Scholarships

Comments (2)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Looks like we don’t need anymore Herbal people around as we have enough locals selling their herbal medicines that they prepare themselves. By the way I thought that it was illegal to sell such stuff.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Wonderful!! The association is mainly made up of retired older gentlemen and their sacrifice is commendable. The seamen have always had the building up of Cayman from the days of wooden ships and iron men as their top priority. So grateful.