Healthcare in West Indies

The West Indies is a group of over 7,000 islands stretching from the Florida peninsula in the United States of America to the northern coast of Venezuela. The West Indies is majorly divided into three regions viz. Greater Antilles, Lesser Antilles and Lucayan Archipelago, consisting of the Bahamas and the Caico Islands. Christopher Columbus was the first ever European to discover the West Indies. Many of the islands and countries in the Caribbean are territories of England and the US. They harbour a very diverse group of individuals and are rich with minerals due to being coastal regions. The islands of the West Indies are famous for their exotic flora and fauna.

The West Indies is remarkable in its own ways, from being the territories of England to becoming some of the most desired tourist destinations, they have had a lot of history. Of course, they have had their fair share of troubles. The West Indies weren’t civilized for most part of their history. Only after the arrival of Christopher Columbus and subsequent colonization, they have seen some tremendous advancements in many fields of science and technology. The West Indies cricket club is still an international cricket club which accepts players from many parts of the Caribbean. Cricket is a very famous sport in all the islands of the West Indies. Puerto Rico is mostly famous for its football team.

Due to them being undiscovered by the world for most part of their history, the people of West Indies weren’t aware of modern medicine. The islands have harbour rich and diverse life. But, due to the exclusivity of the West Indies, the diseases found in the area are very rare in most parts of the world. Health care in the West Indies hasn’t always been what it is now. The islands had mounting health threats to humans from various insects, the water bodies, and some other organisms. Due to this, the life expectancy of the people living in West Indies was below the average of the world and the child mortality rate was also high. This was picked by most of the countries and slowly, health care advancements had been started.

In the West Indies, modern medicine is available today with many world class hospitals and veterinary clinics. Due to its exotic wildlife and greenery, most islands of the Caribbean are excellent for biological and medical research and have enabled many research facilities around the region. Many health care professionals from around the world work in the West Indies. Even medical schools in the West Indies are very helpful in health care policies of the locals. Medical schools enable cheaper or sometimes free medical assistance to the local people, this also helps the students get better education by practical teaching.

St. George’s University of Grenada is the perfect example of this. The school of Medicine at SGU is very famous worldwide as many students from across the globe, especially the US come here to study medicine. The SGU campus is located on a peninsula and is home to a total of 9 schools, offering degrees in various fields of medicine and Business. St. George’s University School of Medicine is the first ever private medical school in the Caribbean. It has over 20,000 graduates in various programs working as doctors, physicians, biologists etc. in many parts of the world.

The SGU was a step toward improving the health care in Grenada. Today, Grenada is reported to have the highest life expectancy in the West Indies. SGU School of Medicine has a clinic for locals to get health care. Students actively participate in community development and health care development programmes to strengthen their cause and build better skills. SGU has played a major role in health care of Grenada as it produces some of the best medical professionals worldwide. Most of its alumni are placed in the US at major hospitals.

The number of medical colleges in the Caribbean has increased rapidly in the past decade and this has helped create quality health care professionals and also improve the health care system of the islands. Many government policies and initiatives have been implemented to support this and it has worked so far as it has created a good health care system with quality professionals and exceptional, world class health facilities.

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