Building contractors instructed on elements of “Safe and Green” health facilities
DPI, Guyana, Wednesday, October 04, 2017
Building contractors and design firms will be engaged in a two-day seminar which is intended to create awareness of the SMART health facilities project while examining the procurement process for design, inspection and retrofitting works. The capacity building seminar will focus mainly on the essential elements of a building contract as it relates to having SMART health facilities in Guyana.
The concept ‘SMART hospital’ refers to a health facility which is both safe and green. Hospitals and other facilities embracing this concept must provide standard and efficient health care before, during and even immediately after the event of any natural or man-made disaster.
The two-day seminar is scheduled to run from October 4 to 5, 2017 and is being facilitated at the Pegasus Hotel, Kingston, Georgetown.
British High Commissioner to Guyana, His Excellency Greg Quinn disclosed that the project is funded by the United Kingdom’s Department of International Development at a cost of £5.4M equivalent to $1.4B Guyana Dollars.
Additionally, he noted that “In common with broader UK guidelines, these funds are not tied, that is, there is no requirement for it to be spent on UK companies and organisations. Instead, (the money) goes to those best qualified and able to deliver what is required.”
Pan American Health Organisation, World Health Organisation (PAHO/WHO) Country Representative to Guyana, Dr. Wlliam Adu-Krow told contractors that it is imperative Guyana adopts the SMART hospital initiative as a national policy. This will allow for risk-reduction and will ensure all hospitals are built with a level of safety while existing ones are retrofitted to function during and immediately after severe natural disasters.
“We have completed 71 assessments; structural, non-structural, functional components as well as the green standards by applying the hospital safety index and green checklist, it was found that the majority of our health facilities about 95.8 percent were classified as grade ‘C’ which means they need urgent intervention measures otherwise anything could happen,” Dr. Adu-Korw explained.
More so, the project will result in enhanced safety standards, a reduction in downtime and damage to hospitals from natural disasters as well as a reduction in operating expenditures (eg: water and energy) where savings are expected.
This would translate into an improvement in healthcare provisions. The relevance of this project has also been highlighted since the Caribbean is a hazard-prone region and has felt impacts of significant weather patterns and changes.
Minister within the Ministry of Public Health, Dr. Karen Cumming, who spoke on behalf of the government, said “It is important to note that building a SMART hospital is more than bringing together connected devices on a high-speed networking infrastructure. It means rethinking the care processes, management systems, and even physical facilities to drive a new way of delivering care instead of simply introducing automation and connected devices.”
The minister further appealed to contractors to seek ways of integrating known technology which will enhance the patient experience while strategising future technological advancements and possibilities.
By: Delicia Haynes