Premier Andrew Fahie signed an agreement this week designed to help bring medical schools to the territory, he said while attending the 31st Inter-Sessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community in Barbados.

The deal will allow the Virgin Islands to establish medical schools through the Caribbean Accreditation Authority for Medicine and other Health Professionals, Mr. Fahie said.

“This is good news as well as it will create more opportunities for our people of the BVI in many areas such as rental of apartments, need for increased forms of transportation, scholarships to study medicine at home, adding value to our healthcare — an overall boost to our economy,” he said.

The premier also signed an agreement with the Caribbean Examinations Council that outlines the territory’s membership in the organisation and the benefits it will receive, such as free training for teachers and reduced fees for examinations, according to government.

The meeting agenda also included discussions on the Caricom Single Market and Economy as well as the organisation’s advocacy against black- listing, de-risking and withdrawal of correspondent banking, government stated.

Additionally, the leaders were scheduled to discuss their first Caricom-African Union Summit, which is scheduled for June, as well as the 15th meeting of the United Nations Conference for Trade and Development, which will take place in Barbados from Oct. 18-25.

The premier was accompanied by Najan Christopher, the acting director of the International Affairs Secretariat, and was scheduled to return yesterday.

Also at the Barbados meeting, VI attorney Dancia Penn was sworn in on Monday as a member of the new Caricom Administrative Tribunal, which is designed to provide Caricom staff members with an independent forum for settling employment disputes. Ms. Penn is the only member from this territory.

“The community and its institutions, as international organisations, enjoy immunity from lawsuits brought in national courts,” Caricom explained. “Previously, staff members were without recourse to an appropriate and effective judicial mechanism that could determine the legality of decisions with respect to an employment-related dispute.”


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