WILLEMSTAD — Nearly two years after having received a permit to establish a business and a charter, the Caribbean Medical University (CMU) is threatening with legal proceedings if Education-minister Omayra Leeflang (PAR) will not cooperate with the registration at the International Medical Education Directory (Imed). The university has drawn up a sample letter, which should be sufficient for this essential registration.
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CMU’s lawyer has given the Minster until today to forward the letter to registry organization Faimer. Moreover, the university requests a rectification of comments made by Leeflang to Faimer that CMU had supposedly forged documents. If the Minister is not willing to cooperate, CMU will then attempt to force this cooperation before the judge. Actually, the sample letter, which CMU had forwarded to the Minister last week, is a form of rectification of the Minister’s answer to questions from Faimer in August and September last year.
Education-minister Omayra Leeflang (PAR) has announced that she has not altered her viewpoint in this matter. "They have the right to establish themselves here. The charter (which was issued by the Minister, red.) confirms this. The government cannot acknowledge such universities", the Minister repeats, and concretely referring to the letter: "We shall see. It is inconceivable. They want to force me to do something for which I have no legal authority." The acknowledgment, for example, which the trainings such as the University of the Dutch Caribbean dispose of, is based on a regulation that specifically applies for H.B.O.-education (Higher Vocational Education), says Leeflang and "not for higher education. However, the medical universities fall outside the legal system."
The problem lies in acknowledgement of the educational training and confirmation of the right to let a graduated physician practice on the island.
The Minister answered in the negative towards questions from Faimer about this issue, while the charter includes this right. The charter signed by Leeflang as Minister of Education and Public Health, states being eligible for medical licensure.
The charter, which the other six medical universities possess as well, states four conditions in order to obtain that right: admission through the immigration department, issuance of work permit, completion of the study (including the American ECFMG-exams and the authority to practice medicine in the United States) and finally, admission through local ‘Licensing Boards’.
"From the conditions, it appears that it is indeed possible that graduates from the CUM …. may practice medicine on Curaçao, contrary to what you wrote to Faimer", lawyer Giolina Daal writes the Minister. The incorrect and unclear information to Faimer is causing CMU substantial damage. The island also loses income by missing out on students who each spend at least 1000 dollars every month on the island.
The expression acknowledgement, which is substantially being dwelled upon recently because Leeflang will not consider acknowledgement with regard to both universities on the island, is explained further in the sample letter. The Minister explicates, that if it were up to CMU, the CMU would operate with a license to establish a business and with a charter, which acknowledges the right that the university may provide for medical trainings and that graduates obtain the title of Doctor of Medicine.
As the CMU, which is situated in the WTC, has already been waiting for two years for the Imed-registration, the St. Martinus University School of Medicine (SMU) at the Brionplein has also been coping with the same problem since last August in connection with the financial problems during the past months. Now that it seems the latter have been solved, the SMU wants a similar cooperation from the Minister to straighten out the registration again.
The appeal for summary proceedings by St. Martinus University led Minister Leeflang to respond towards Faimer. Until now, this did not appear to be sufficient to remove the statement from the Imed-listing that the university has been closed since August. The Minister was not available for comment this morning.
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