GRAND CAYMAN- March 22, 2022 – Integra Healthcare Ltd and Workforce Opportunities & Residency Cayman (WORC) are delighted to announce the launch of two innovative healthcare apprenticeships – development programmes for exciting professional healthcare roles, as Healthcare Assistants or Medical Billing & Administrative staff. The apprenticeship scheme will provide the opportunity for young and/ or healthcare-passionate Caymanians to gain Internationally recognised qualifications alongside direct work experience, while being paid an escalating salary in line with their growing competency.
Katherine Whittaker, Head of Labour Demands, Development and Training for WORC, explained; “It is vital that our Caymanian population is able to participate in modern, professional industries such as healthcare and schemes like this one provide a genuine route to two different professional roles, but without the financial barriers so often preventing capable individuals from gaining the necessary qualifications.”
Head of Education, Director and Consultant Paediatrician & Neonatologist for Integra Healthcare, Dr Sara Watkin added; “I have long been involved in mentoring Caymanian students wishing to train in healthcare, and the block Katherine speaks about is very real. I see some amazing people that just need a route in, and so we created these programmes to provide employment from day 1 but alongside protected and paid for study programmes for professional qualifications. I couldn’t be more proud to finally be pressing the go button.”
The Healthcare Assistant Apprentice Programme, initially 3 healthcare apprenticeships, is based around a similar and hugely successful scheme in the UK, aimed at growing technically competent, knowledgeable and safe staff that can work in care provision, alongside nurses, but without having to fund years of nursing degree courses. Integra has the largest team of private ambulatory, non-hospital, registered nurses, across Women, Children & Family Medicine, with Dermatology, allowing the apprentices to be comprehensively mentored but also across a range of disciplines or specialties too.
The Medical Billing & Administrative Apprentice Programme will allow individuals to be trained under the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC), the largest medical coding training and certification association for medical billers and coders, working on the same Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) and International Classifications of Disease (ICD) coding systems used by Cayman health insurers. The role is a highly important one, leading to proper payment for services and thus the stability of medical practices in the Cayman Islands.
Andrew Vincent, Director of Integra Healthcare, commented; “We have grown Integra into the largest private, non-hospital medical practice in the Cayman Islands based on our reputation and our four cornerstone values of Excellence, Integrity, Commitment and Passion. That has given us the scale necessary to offer these programmes, in a professional and employment environment that genuinely supports and values its staff. We have always said that we feel very privileged to be able to provide healthcare services in such an amazing location, and so alongside our passion for improving and innovating in healthcare, our commitment is to also ensure we provide genuine employment or growth opportunities for the very people who so kindly allow us to share their very special home.”
Kimone Chambers, Programme Coordinator for WORC, who worked alongside the Integra team to help establish the programme, stressed; “We always want to make sure that Apprenticeship Schemes are properly organised, with appropriate commitment from the employers. However, even more important is that the employer has the right environment and support mechanisms to ensure apprentices feel supported and mentored and therefore are able to carry through into employment. Integra Healthcare definitely has what it takes, and I am looking forward to welcoming the first cohort of apprentices.”
There has been a global growth in internships, apprenticeships and other entry-into-work schemes, and Dr Francisco Martinez, Medical Director and a GP at Integra, believes it is important to differentiate between low commitment, low wage schemes and professional development programmes such as this; “It is important to us that individuals gain recognised, career-supporting qualifications and get the quality of training they need to be fully fledged, highly valuable members of a professional team. We don’t subscribe to the concept of ‘cheap labour’ and so the salaries for these roles start much closer to a living wage level, not a minimum wage one, and grow with the skills and qualifications of the apprentices, through their healthcare apprenticeships. By the end of the programme, they have gained a fully-paid-for set of recognised qualifications, lots of practical experience, and employment on standard terms for these professions.”
About Integra Healthcare Ltd
Integra Healthcare Ltd is the largest non-hospital private ambulatory clinic in the Cayman Islands, based out of Grand Pavilion on West Bay Road, with 11 doctors across Women’s, Children’s and Family Medicine, with Dermatology. With a strong history or innovating and in investing in latest technology, they were the first clinic in the whole Americas region to bring the latest Artificial Intelligence FotoFinder for assisting in the detection of Skin Cancer, as well as the latest nanotechnology point-of-care platform for providing advanced analysis of micro-blood samples without the need for sending them to a laboratory. The practice is a champion for implementing evidence-based care and preventative, personalised medicine, built around 4 core values of Excellence, Integrity, Commitment & Passion.