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UTT unveils MHA programme

Gary Darmanie
Trinidad and Tobago Newsday
Monday 13th April, 2009
UTT unveils MHA programme By Monday, April 13 2009 IN KEEPING with Government's Vision 2020 plan for developed-nation status, the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT) has been facilitating a Masters of Health Care Administration (MHA), geared towards changing the health sector from that of a developing nation to being fully developed.
This would mean that lengthy waiting periods will be reduced, new technologies will be implemented, better management procedures will be executed at the nation's hospitals and the health sector will be changed into a research driven sector.
The first cohort of students from the programme are expected to graduate in 2010. There are presently two cohorts with the total number of students doing the program standing at 41. The first cohort would have started the three year part time programme in 2007 and is comprised of two pharmacists, psychologists, doctors, hospital administrators from the North West Regional Health Authority, two Africa-based international students, researchers and five private sector citizens amongst others.
Speaking with Newsday on Good Friday, Port-of-Spain pharmacist and participant in the course, Dinesh Moonan, said, "the course is geared towards achieving excellence in the health sector." He explained that the course offers a chance for expert training in management of the health sector. He added, "one of our goals is to be the medical hub of the Caribbean so that we can make Trinidad and Tobago the consultants on health in the Caribbean and for other developing nations through innovation that comes with a research driven health sector."
Asked about his motivation to pursue the MHA, 28-year- old Moonan said he wanted to help change the health sector of TT on a "macro level". He said the course is not purely medical but also teaches management of both people and finance.
The MHA also includes courses in epidemiology, leadership, biostatistics, financial planning and management, services quality, communications, and health policy planning amongst others. The programme is also constantly being reviewed for improvement by both international and local experts.
The MHA is being conducted by a host of local and international lecturers as the course is associated with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (JHBSPH). Moonan said he believes JHBSPH has influenced the delivery of the course at UTT which he described as "compact, engaging and intense."
He said he and his classmates also felt a degree of pride, being associated with a world renown medical institution. He added that the entire class is eager to embark upon the transformation of health facilities throughout Trinidad and Tobago into "centres of excellence."