News Releases

UWI and NWRHA join hands for construction of Teaching and Student Facility

For Release Upon Receipt - May 22, 2015

St. Augustine

ST. AUGUSTINE, Trinidad and Tobago. May 22, 2015 – The North West Regional Health Authority (NWRHA) and The University of the West Indies (UWI) St. Augustine Campus convened to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) today, May 22, at the Office of the Campus Principal. The MOU will govern the construction of a state-of-the-art Teaching and Student Facility at the General Hospital, Port of Spain, which will house students and staff of The UWI St. Augustine’s Faculty of Medical Sciences.

Pro Vice-Chancellor and Campus Principal of The UWI St. Augustine, Professor Clement Sankat declared the signing of the MOU as “timely” and emphasised the need to build capacity at every level for the growing number of students given  current enrolment numbers at the Faculty of Medical Sciences. He commended Dr. Andy Bhagwandass, Chairman of the NWRHA and the Honourable Minister of Health, Dr. Fuad Khan, for their roles in moving the MOU forward. He stressed the need to “move the agreement from a vision, a piece of paper to getting something done with the reputation of The University of the West Indies and the accreditation intact.”

Dr. Bhagwandass gave a personal account of his time spent as a double alum of both The UWI St. Augustine and Mona Campuses and his unique understanding of the need for accommodation on a hospital compound – “the site where students can speak to patients, nurses and staff in a safe environment and develop the social side of medicine.”  He also stressed that such a facility would encourage regional and international students to come and share knowledge. The Chairman confidently assured that the project will finish on time. The facility will allow students to be near the hospital round the clock, allowing them to be able to observe special cases that are brought in, especially incidents of trauma.

Dean of the Faculty of Medical Sciences, Professor Samuel Ramsewak, expressed great satisfaction on the occasion, describing the proposed facility as a “premiere teaching hospital”. He added that it would be outfitted with approximately 30 rooms including teaching, lecture and study spaces; kitchen and laundry facilities. The Dean saw this facility as a catalyst to bring Port of Spain General Hospital back into the all-round excellence that would make it suitable for a great student experience.

The MOU was signed by Professor Sankat and Dr. Bhagwandass, witnessed by Mrs. Judith Baliram, Chief Executive Officer for the NWRHA and Professor Ramsewak.


About The UWI

Since its inception in 1948, The University of the West Indies (UWI) has evolved from a fledgling college in Jamaica with 33 students to a full-fledged, regional University with well over 40,000 students. Today, UWI is the largest, most longstanding higher education provider in the Commonwealth Caribbean, with four campuses in Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Open Campus. The UWI has faculty and students from more than 40 countries and collaborative links with 160 universities globally; it offers undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Food & Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science and Technology and Social Sciences. UWI’s seven priority focal areas are linked closely to the priorities identified by CARICOM and take into account such over-arching areas of concern to the region as environmental issues, health and wellness, gender equity and the critical importance of innovation. Website:


(Please note that the proper name of the university is The University of the West Indies, inclusive of the “The”, hence The UWI.)