UWP fears economic decline as Ross University’s future remains uncertain

Ross University’s campus in Portsmouth

Roseau, Dominica, August 1st, 2018 – The United Workers Party continues to strive for the return and harmonious operation of Ross University in the Commonwealth of Dominica.

The growing fears, anxieties and concerns over the uncertain future of Ross University School of Medicine (Ross) as a major driver of economic activity in Dominica, necessitates that Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit addresses the nation urgently on the way forward.

The 40-year-old Medical School, born and raised in Dominica, left our shores after Hurricane Maria and has not returned contrary to widespread public expectations in a country where its operations account for more than 30% of national economic activity.

The Ross University contribution in the Dominican economy includes:

1) Employment- A significant number of Dominicans have been employed at all levels of Ross’ organizational structure, ranging from faculty workers to unskilled workers.

2) Travel/Transportation – Airfares to LIAT and passenger taxes and landing fees to the Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica.

Inbound and outbound logistics and ground transportation costs

3) Housing – almost exclusively provided by Dominicans who heavily invested in housing for students and faculty over the years. Recent official estimates put the total at-risk investment in housing stock in the Picard area at over 50 million ECD – all borrowed from local financial institutions. These loans are serviced directly from the student rental income which ranged from $400 to $700 USD per unit per month.

4) Food, utilities, and entertainment/recreation – The multiplier effect of these ancillary services to the Ross students spawned an entire system of economic activity in the Portsmouth community in particular. As a result of the movement of these goods and services the state received VAT, corporation tax and PAYE income and Social Security benefited from growing employer and employee contributions through the years.

5) The uncertain future of Ross in Dominica threatens a range of benefits that have formed part and parcel of the Dominican economic landscape for decades with no viable alternative under a Dominica Labour Party government that appears to be simply idle and aloof. The banking and financial sector may be affected because of mortgage delinquency and bad debts which can further plummet a contracting economy.

We understand that the leadership team of Ross has presented to the government of the Commonwealth of Dominica a number of investment support issues and public infrastructure improvements that need to be addressed satisfactorily to facilitate a return of the American owned university.

With reports that Ross may open its doors in another CARICOM country, the people of Dominica have a right to know what are the requirements for the return of Ross that government has been unable to meet. And should Ross move into another Island, as we sincerely hear, would that move be temporary, and what is the government’s plan for securing the return of Ross at the earliest opportunity?

The failure of the Dominica Labour Party government to respond adequately to the needs of Ross and thereby secure its earliest return reflects another profound disappointment of this government. The slow improvements in the national hospital’s infrastructure while Ross was becoming a first-rate medical school bears eloquent testimony of the incompetence that have led us to this untenable situation under the leadership of a Prime Minister who actually took over direct responsibility for Ross University from the Ministry of Health.

In this regard, the United Workers Party has commenced stake holder consultations with Dominicans at home and abroad on an agenda to secure the return of Ross University. We will engage the owners of Ross with clear commitments to deal decisively with the investment support and public infrastructure improvements that are needed for a resumption of operations in Dominica.

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25 Comments

  1. Sisserou
    August 5, 2018

    Uwp, thanks for publishing this article; its this article that make Skerrit run like a scared rat to tell the nation about Ross departure, something they knew for a very long while now.

  2. Jonathan St jean
    August 3, 2018

    But even with Ross in country functioning the economy was in steady decline so I don’t understand the headline. This lazy government headed by a faux Punjab doctorate, don’t know how to create sustainable development and economy. All they have been offering the people is handouts and more handouts. So obviously when they killed the agriculture sector, let the health sector decline, fail to improve the tourism sector in a way to encourage more rapid growth, let the fledgling manufacturing sector die, then the economy has been declining for the past 18 years.

  3. Papa
    August 3, 2018

    If Ross University accounts for 30% of our economy and citizen by investment (according to the budget reading) accounts for approximately 50% of our economy then I guess the extra 20% comes from the little tourism that we do. Peeps according to what I’m putting together here, we’re doomed. Like for real. Instead of the politicians talk about moving towards manufacturing they’re engaging themselves in nonstop arguments on politics. Our economy’s foundation is planted on sand. Anything and we’re outta here.

  4. JBaptiste
    August 3, 2018

    I am waiting to see how the people from possi vote next time around.

  5. Mindset
    August 3, 2018

    I’m confused. Is this a DNO editorial, a UWP editorial? what exactly is it? It carries no author, no party name or institution. It says “we” without identifying if we is DNO or we is UWP?

    DNO needs to decide if it simply prints any and everything that lands on it’s desk as long as the adverts keep rolling in, or if it is to be taken seriously as a source of “news”.

    ADMIN: This is a press release from the UWP. That information is located at the top the story. For context, we regularly publish press releases from government or the various political parties.

  6. RasB
    August 3, 2018

    It would seem that any industry or facility that is making a tangible contribution to Dominica is short changed by the Doctor Skeritt’s Government. Forgive me if I am wrong, but one looks at AGRICULTURE, that is dead. One looks at Tourism that is dying. One looks at Ross University, that too, seems to be dying.

    Ross has been in Dominica for forty years and became part of the landscape. It survived hurricane David with an equivalent degree of devastation on the island as in Hurricane Maria, yet though Ross was in its infancy, there was no talk about relocation.

    Why after forty years Ross is threatening to leave? Surely, it is not simply because of Hurricane Maria because we have long been prone to devastation by hurricanes and it was known before Ross University made Dominica it’s home. Is there something that the Dominican populace should know? Where are our investigative Journalist? Do they fear a law suit? Is silence the reason for the plethora of law suits which have been…

  7. anonymous2
    August 3, 2018

    People here, including the government, have to understand one thing about business, which is what Ross University is. Though Ross initially settled in Dominica, the upheaval of Maria gave it a chance to reassess. The mentality in DA is: what can the business of Ross University do for our island. The mentality of other islands and places is: what can we do for Ross to lure it’s business and establishment to our island to stay.

  8. I'M NOT A PRIME MISTAKE!!!
    August 2, 2018

    :?: If it takes the departure of Ross University and the lack of concern from the incompetent rogues posing as government for the people of Portsmouth to learn and awake from their slumber,so be it that Ross leaves! Let the Portsmouth people backs hit against the wall so that they can retaliate from the rogues they love more than themselves!!!

    • vrai den
      August 2, 2018

      Portsmouth people should realize by now where they stand in terms of where and who they getting support from to maintain their livelihoods, and go on with their lives be it as Ross workers, farmers, apartment owners etc. Also all the other workers that came from other areas of Dominica to work, are at a loss also, taxi drivers and bus drivers also affected, store and shop owners, income from electrical, water an telecommunications services. All this and more affects Dominica’s economy in a grossly negative way, and if Portsmouth people and Dominicans by extension want to continue like that, vote DLP back in power. Everyone sit and think, are you better off today, than 10 years ago? Are you more independent? self sufficient? or do you have to depend on someone,or an organization to get by on a daily, weekly, monthly basis.

    • mine
      August 4, 2018

      lord have mercy on you.

  9. August 2, 2018

    Not only the UWP that should fear economic decline, but EVERY Dominican, that would be a MAJOR blow to Dominica and Dominicans

  10. August 2, 2018

    When the horse have bolts out the stable, the voices of we should have done this and that,is all it is, voices. The destruction of the home/Dominica always starts within the home. The prices for rentals to the students, seems to have been extremely high, the sign of overpricing, looks to have been very prevalent, greed lived side to side with the people concerned. If globalization have caused Dominicans to see the US dollar as a means of getting off rock bottom, by over charging/pricing, businesses like ROSS, can and will always go somewhere else where the prices will be much cheaper. The Perks given to ROSS from previous Dominican Gov’ts, have made ROSS what it is today, a recognizable entity. ROSS, is not about small Island politics, PROFITS are their main concern.

  11. Roy Williams
    August 2, 2018

    I wish to recommend a delegation comprising the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition, the Minister responsible for the Portsmouth Constituency and the Attorney General meet with the management of Ross University as soon as possible.

    • %
      August 2, 2018

      Neither Ian nor Skerrit can contribute to anything to do with negotiating.What a mess Skerrit and others negotiated in China!!! Why was an international airport not part of the package,? .Instead of Ian, Dr Fontane or Issac Baptiste.These Patriots are educated and forward looking.
      Where The Wicked Rule The People Mourn
      This DLP is a Wicked and Evil Party!!!

    • Hmmmmm
      August 2, 2018

      Too little too late

  12. %
    August 2, 2018

    This is a caring government in the near future who will not have it’s citizenry guessing,but will furnish them with truth. Those MISLEADER S in the DLP cabal are bouncing on and with each other like headless chicken for lack of knowing what to do..Thank you PATRIOTS for bringing to Dominicans the good news.I am bouyed by what I am hearing from the man on the street,Which is a rejection of DLP lock stock and barrel.
    Where The Wicked Rule The People Mourn!!!
    This DLP is a Wicked and Evil Party!!!

    • Is So
      August 2, 2018

      % You just can’t go on 1 day without taking YOUR medication! On one hand, you are sympathetic towards the uncertainty of Ross University, then on the other hand you are rejoicing! What a desperate and despectable person YOU are. Do you % give a hoot about the welfare of this NATION? That STUPID Bush tea you are drinking is detrimental to YOUR reasoning skills.

    • Me One
      August 2, 2018

      Good idea to engage Ross University executive officers, but the UWP regime should also present their portfolio. Tell us what have you done to enhance the standard of living for your people. Besides spewing garbage, give us a brief description of your accomplishments.

  13. jamie
    August 2, 2018

    Dominica is doomed,unless these fools make a change the prosperity will never return,why are so many natural disasters and you all are not getting the message,Skerrit is laughing to the bank daily,while the young children continue to suffer,God help DOMINICA.will continue to pray for you all suffering.

    • Get a life
      August 2, 2018

      You are a idiot who is jealous of the pm go get a live

  14. Hmmmmmm
    August 2, 2018

    Nice……leadership by uwp….the labor party still mute

  15. Fbother
    August 2, 2018

    That has to be a bloody joke now..u telling me the government of Dominica cannot go on the public record and tell the people of Dominica what happening with ross???? That’s a damn disgrace now… you labourite are dunsKiat wicket set of fools who support that incompetent labour party… you damn people are wicked… that waste of time government cannot tell the peopleft what are there fate with ross …you Dominicans that support that government are bloody sick people..

  16. Iamanidiot
    August 2, 2018

    I keep commenting it, these expensive flights to Dominica from Barbados or Antigua does not help. How is a flight from Dominica to Barbados, more expensive for a flight from Barbados to the US

    • DA Fails
      August 2, 2018

      Everything in DA expensive, is only right our flights be expensive too, you not seeing how much we have to pay to clear a old 2008 toyota on de port? Funny thing when them tourist come down our taxi drivers taxing dem heavy :lol:

      • anonymous2
        August 3, 2018

        And do you think that these tourists who are being duped and ripped off will ever pay another visit to DA? Deja Vu comes back around.

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