Bartica Regional Hospital ICU commissioned – Region working to modernize healthcare

DPI, Guyana, Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Minister within the Ministry of Public Health, Dr. Karen Cummings made an official visit to the Bartica Regional Hospital and other surrounding Health Centres. The Minister was accompanied by a technical team from the ministry, along with Emergency Medical Specialists, Dr. Zulfikar Bux and Dr. Shannon Langston.

Minister Cummings cuts the ribbon to commission ICU at Bartica reg. Hospital in the audience of regional and hospital staff.

During her visit on Wednesday, Minister Cummings commissioned the recently installed Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at the regional hospital. The two-bed unit was refurbished as part of a regional project to modify the facility. The regional Chairman, Gordon Bradford said that the cost of this unit is approximately $3.2M and took just about two months to complete.

A meeting was also held with the regional officials and staff of the Bartica Regional Hospital to garner necessary information which will contribute to the on-going modernisation of the regional facility.

Minister Cummings remarked that “The primary aim of this visit to Bartica Region Seven is to carefully observe and assess the quality of public healthcare being offered at the Bartica hospital and its environs… At some point in time or previously there was this disparity of inequity or inequality against the coastland so the APNU+AFC government we want to narrow the gaps of inequities and inequalities between the hinterland and the coastland”.

Regional Health Officer of Region Seven Dr. Edward Segala noted that although the hospital can boast of much success in the health arena, there is still much work to be done, especially in far-flung communities.

Health care delivery in the region when summarised, is affected by poor accommodation for staff, limited patient capacity at facilities and limited access to surgical and support services in interior parts of the region. However, the RHO disclosed out that a Bartica Hospital Annex is expected to be in place by next year to accommodate staff. “Accommodation remains a challenge for our health works so money (garnered from the budget) can also go towards improved accommodation not only doctors but all categories of health workers”, Dr. Segala said.

The Minister also highlighted to the RHO that even as the region seeks to modernise health care delivery, the wellbeing of its staff must be given priority.

Minister within the Ministry of Public Health Dr. Karen Cummings engaging regional officials at the Bartica Regional Hospital boardroom.

Additionally, the proposed community hospitals in several areas including Parima, Waramadong, Jawalla, Kako, Imbaimadai, Isaano are expected to eliminate challenges in terms of limited access to in-patient facilities. The RHO said if the budget allows for these proposed facilities to be upgraded to community hospitals, it will significantly improve the level of healthcare offered in these areas

Even as the Regional Health Officer outlined the various needs in the region’s health sector, Minister Cummings applauded what has been achieved so far and encouraged the regional team to build on their successes.

“It’s a new era, people talking about oil and gas and so forth so definitely we are forced, its mandatory that we should step up our game in terms of our healthcare delivery to the people of Guyana and by extension the diaspora”, she noted

In closing, the minister remarked that the region must now engage communities in ensuring better healthcare is delivered. “We want to mobilise the communities because the Ministry of Public Health cannot do it alone… We need the community’s effort and of course the public health mantra is ‘healthy people, healthy communities’ that’s why we changed the name from Ministry of Health to Ministry of Public Health so that we (along with these communities) can work together as a team to advance the delivery of healthcare here, making it more efficient and effective in this part of Guyana.”


By: Delicia Haynes


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