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PM to meet with those affected by Ross’ departure

by: Dominica Vibes News - August 3, 2018
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(L-R) Parliamentary Representative for the Portsmouth Constituency Ian Douglas, Deputy Prime Minister Reginald Austrie, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit and Minister for Health and Social Services Dr. Kenneth Darroux

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has said he will begin meeting with those those affected by the departure of Ross University School of Medicine from the island.

Mr. Skerrit announced the school’s departure after operating on island for forty years on Friday 3 August 2018.

He explained that Tropical Storm Erika in 2015 and Hurricane Maria in 2017 led to the medical school’s decision to relocate.

“In the days ahead the government will meet with those affected to discuss the future and we shall be able to share with them the plans for them specifically and the country in general,” he assured.

These meetings is set to begin as early as Friday he said.

“From the government’s standpoint itself we will be making certain decisions of our own direct and tangible support to those who will be impacted by the closure of Ross University.”

In light of the number of persons who will be directly affected by the university’s decision, he said, the government has made certain requests.

“We were also very strident in our lobby for our recognition and appreciation of the fact that the closure of Ross will have a serious negative impact on the economy and the many businesses in the north, in Picard, Portsmouth. Many businesses were there for Ross in good times, throughout their times and we’re hoping that Ross can be there for them in their darkest hour,” he said.

Many Mr. Skerrit continued will need support and therefore it is hoped that Ross University will reflect and appreciate this.

“On this point were very clear with Ross University that there’ll be businesses that will be impacted that there are people who invested to provide specifically to provide services to Ross University. There are small business people who ran operations, small bars and restaurants and snackettes and we will need to ensure that we can provide some tangible assistance to those people to reposition themselves within the economy.”

The government he said looks forward to favourable response in that regard.

He added that due to the cordiality of the relationship between the island and the university will allow for opportunities to discuss other benefits to the people of Dominica and for those in the north specifically.

Meanwhile the Dominican leader said the government will create an economic and social dislocation fund for those affected.