Daily Archives: April 19, 2012

Antigua involved in TRSi Medical Transcription lawsuit

TRSi Collaboration also failed in Barbados

“Antigua St John’s – Medical transcription graduates have said they have yet to receive accreditation, four years after the start of the lauded government programme.

The training programme was offered through the American TRS Institute. The $10,000-per-student initiative was partly developed by the Government of Antigua & Barbuda, which covered 50 percent of the students’ costs via the Antigua & Barbuda Investment Authority (ABIA). One hundred students were enrolled.

Read more at Caribarena.com: Transcription Graduates in Limbo

We’re starting to wonder about Robert Harvey and Transcription Relief Services (TSRi). Four years ago Mr. Harvey breezed into Barbados and sold our government on a ‘joint venture’ to train Bajans for medical transcription, and to establish a business on the island.

True to Bajan politicians’ hyperbolic form*, in January 2009 Prime Minister Thompson declared that Barbados was poised to become “the medical transcription capital of the Caribbean” with projected annual gross foreign revenues of $21 million plus. It didn’t quite work out that way and in July of 2010, Robert Harvey of TRSi flew into Barbados, fired everybody and shut down the operation.

Now we see that Mr. Harvey and Antigua have a dispute going over the same programme.

Was Barbados wrong? Was Antigua wrong?

Or… did both countries learn too late that the business model put forward by Mr. Harvey just doesn’t work?

As we said in our previous article about the medical transcription business collapse, maybe we just had to try it to discover whether it was a good fit for Barbados – but we should have eased into the business and not committed so much money to an unknown venture.

That’s what happens when the politicians play with public money: there is no caution because they are not gambling with their own money. Mr. Harvey could have been selling a fraud – or he could have been selling a viable business that works in other countries but didn’t fit with island culture and demographics.

It was up to our politicians to ease into the venture – but they dived in head first and committed big public money without seeing proof that the business was possible for small island nations.

* Don’t forget that Prime Minister Owen Arthur declared that Barbados would become the ‘stem cell capital of the world’ but all we got were body parts of murdered Ukrainian babies.

Further Reading

Officials point fingers after transcription failure (Story here)

Antigua St John’s – Officials behind the medical transcription training programme have blamed each other for the initiative’s failure.

The programme was a collaboration between the TRS Institute and the Antigua and Barbuda Investment Authority (ABIA).

TRS CEO and President Bob Harvey told Caribarena.com that the government’s breach of contract and inability to honour its financial commitment has prompted a lawsuit, and he could not discuss the matter in full.

“I am willing to speak,” he said. “I know that there has been litigation and settlement between our organisation and ABIA based on a variety of factors. … The primary issue was regarding breach of contract and non-payment by ABIA. I would prefer not to get into that, but can offer an opinion.” Continue reading

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