30 May 2006

Cooks med school causes concerns within government

8:18 pm on 30 May 2006

The Chairman of the Cooks Islands Development Investment Board, Mark Brown, says the Board has raised a number of concerns with a newly set up medical school in Rarotonga, following a letter from the deputy prime minister.

The South Pacific School of Medicine, which has been approved by the Ministry of Health, Cabinet and the Development Investment Board, has just opened its doors to its first students.

However sources in the Cook Islands say there are government concerns over issues such as credibility, the quality of due diligence undertaken, and the quality of lecturers and the curriculum.

A committee, formed by the deputy prime minister, Dr Terepai Maoate, is investigating.

Mark Brown says the deputy prime minister has raised some issues with the Development Investment Board.

"and some of the concerns are based on the terms of condition of registration that the school had - with the DIB - so we've asked the school about concerns that have been raised and we are waiting for a response from them on that."

Mark Brown says he believes the committee has finalised its review and has presented its results to Dr Maoate.