$31M Water Ambulance to serve Baracara

─ another Water Ambulance in Reg. 6

─ eliminates cost incurred for transporting emergency patients

DPI, Guyana, Tuesday, August 20, 2019

A $31.4M Water Ambulance has been commissioned and dedicated to the village of Baracara. Presented as a gift from the Ministry of Public Health to the community, the Water Ambulance will ensure that emergency cases are transported from the village which is approximately 45 miles from the town of New Amsterdam. This is part of the ministry’s vision of ensuring riverine communities have access to health services similar to those on the coast.

The vessel will be staffed by a ‘Boat Hand’ and Captain who have been employed from the village. The water ambulance will be equipped with the necessary emergency equipment to transport two patients at a time.

Community Health Worker, Kevon Joseph attached to the Baracara Health Centre explained that the ambulance will make a significant difference in how emergency cases are attended. He said that previously, it was costly for persons to transport their emergency cases, however, the new EMS boat will see persons saving at least $40,000 which would have been expended for chartering a regular boat to transport patients.

“[Sometimes] late at night, we would have to take out trauma patients, persons with accelerated heart rates, and persons with lacerations. We sometimes encounter a lot of difficulty in the river because of the grass in the river and that causes blockages.  I am overcome and excited because it will be easier for persons to access better health care, persons will be able to go out there [to New Amsterdam] faster,” Joseph said.

Officials from the Ministry of Public Health including the Minister, Hon. Volda Lawrence, Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Colette Adams was present for the commissioning.

Minister Lawrence indicated that the public health sector has been able to cross another significant milestone and it is expected that the residents of Baracara and those living along the Canje River will benefit from this intervention by the government. She added that the ministry continues to work to improve the health sector.

“The Coalition Government is concerned with the development of our people so in the health sector we want to ensure that we not just talking and writing on paper about accessibility, availability and all these other measures for you to be able to access health services. We want to ensure that action is taken,” Minister Lawrence declared

At a simple commissioning ceremony in Canje, the Director of Regional Health Services, Region 6, Jevaughn Stephen welcomed the gesture by the ministry. In October last, the East Berbice-Corentyne Region commissioned a state-of the-art Water Ambulance at Orealla, which is located more than 50 miles off the Corentyne coast.

In January, another Water Ambulance was commissioned for Bartica, this vessel also serves parts of Region 7, 2, 10 and 3. In April, another water ambulance was handed over to the Regional Democratic Council of the Upper Demerara-Berbice Region.

A total of four ambulances have been put into operation in various parts of the country. Another is expected for the Upper Demerara-Berbice Region. The ministry also plans to furnish riverine communities in each region with a water ambulance to assist in the transport of emergencies cases to the nearest hospital for specialised care.

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