Citizens can aid in swift public health investigation procedures – Minister Lawrence

GINA, GUYANA, Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The Minister of Public Health is urging the public to communicate and voice their concerns with the Ministry of Public Health in order for the Ministry to carry out effective investigations into issues emanating from various health facilities.

Minister of Public Health, Volda Lawrence said that the Ministry is prepared to carry out stringent investigations as long as these reports are brought to the attention of the ministry. The minister said that many times, complaints recorded by citizens encourage swifter responses since citizens are the one affected by shortcomings in the delivery of health care and other services.

“Ordinary citizens, citizens who have knowledge and experience and so on, if you find an issue, please call the office, call us and we will address it, we will investigate it. This is a very large sector and so many things may slip us by if we don’t have you policing the sector, and I’m happy when people write things, but I would like people to at least know that the minister’s office is open,” Minister Lawrence explained.

The minister was at the time responding to queries raised by the Government Information Agency (GINA) concerning the death of a premature baby at the West Demerara Regional Hospital.

The minister said although no direct complaint or report was made to the ministry relating to this issue, efforts are being made to confirm and investigate the matter. “This was one that I saw on Facebook while I was abroad, and I immediately asked the office, and I was very happy to hear that my office had already stepped in and asked for an investigation to be done on that, so we await that report.”

Issues at various health facilities have been brought to the attention of the minister and efforts have been made to involve the families of those affected. Issues such as maternal death, infant mortality, drug shortage, and staff shortage can put a severe weight on the progress of any health sector.

Thus far for 2017, the Ministry has compiled information brought to it and prepared for investigations while others have successfully been completed. This is part of measures being put in place to improve the level of service being offered within the local health care sector.

Minister Lawrence said, “Since I have assumed the office of the Minister of Public Health, I have not had a direct complaint…  I look at the newspapers to see what issues there are and I will ensure that I notify various staff to either intervene or to have an in depth report submitted on it.”

Minister Lawrence believes that since patients in the general public are those who are affected by poor health care delivery, they are the ones fittest to raise issues that remain in the public health sector.

Social media and local newspapers have highlighted ongoing issues hampering the efficient delivery of public health care. Minister Lawrence encourages this since it has given much satisfaction and brought resolution to a number of matters that have prevailed in the health sector for a number of years.


By: Delicia Haynes