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Journal of Oncology
Volume 2018 (2018), Article ID 7286281, 7 pages
https://doi.org/10.1155/2018/7286281
Research Article

The Caribbean Community Clinical Oncology Workforce: Analyzing Where We Are Today and Projecting for Tomorrow

National Radiotherapy Centre, St. James, Port of Spain, Trinidad, Trinidad and Tobago

Correspondence should be addressed to Kellie Alleyne-Mike; moc.liamg@tt.ekimk

Received 6 November 2017; Revised 13 February 2018; Accepted 1 March 2018; Published 15 April 2018

Academic Editor: Minesh P. Mehta

Copyright © 2018 Kellie Alleyne-Mike. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Purpose. To analyze the current physician clinical oncological workforce within the CARICOM full member states with an aim to make recommendations for building capacity. Methods. A questionnaire was prepared and emailed to professionals working in oncology in 14 CARICOM full member countries. It was designed to identify the number of specialists providing hematology, medical oncology, and radiotherapy services. Results. Ten countries (71.4%) supplied information. Oncology services were insufficient in the majority of countries. Hematology proved to be the most adequately staffed with six countries (60%) having the recommended number of specialists. Medical oncology services were deficient in five countries (50%). Radiation oncology services were the most limited with nine countries (90%) unable to provide the required quota of specialists. The majority of the workforce consisted of nonnationals (55%). The remaining practitioners were nationals, and of these 50% were regionally trained. Oncological care was primarily offered within the public sector. Conclusion. Oncological staffing within the CARICOM full member states is insufficient to meet the demands of the current population. Encouraging training through locoregional or international programs is key to obtaining the numbers required. Cancer registries will help provide data to influence public policy and improve the oncological healthcare system.