Committee on Social Services recommendations adopted – to help improve healthcare delivery

DPI, GUYANA, Thursday, March 15, 2018

The motion on the adoption of the Third Special Report of the Parliamentary Sectoral Committee on Social Services, on the visit to the New Amsterdam Hospital on Thursday, March 2, 2017, was today carried in the National Assembly.

The motion was moved in the name of Committee’s Chairperson and Opposition Member of Parliament (MP), Dr. Vindhya Persaud, who urged that healthcare be continuously made a priority in Guyana.

MP, John Adams assured that the Government has begun to implement many of the recommendations of the Committee.

He noted that the doctor’s quarters have been renovated, all air conditioning units functional, the laboratory almost completed, all telephones and theatres operational, among other improvements.

MP Adams informed the House that when completed, the Maternity Unit will boast a separate theatre bringing the total number of theatres at the Hospital to four.

Meantime, Minister within the Ministry of Public Health, Dr. Karen Cummings reminded that when this Administration assumed office in 2015, it recognised the deplorable state of the health sector.

She noted that the state of the healthcare was “beyond our imaginations,” however, steps were and continue to be taken to address the shortcomings. Minister Cummings said Government identified and sought to address the gaps.

The New Amsterdam Hospital, which is the country’s second-largest, Dr. Cummings said, serves over 100 thousand citizens, as well as Surinamese, with a complement of 74 doctors and 115 nurses.

A Neonatal Unit will be established, the Labour Unit will complete in the next few months and the CT Scan will be installed, Minister Cummings noted.

The motion on the adoption of the Fourth Special Report of the Parliamentary Sectoral Committee on Social Services, on the visit to the Diamond Diagnostic Centre, which was conducted on Thursday, April 6, 2017, was also adopted by the House.

Minister Cummings addressed concerns about the Ophthalmology Department at the Diagnostic Centre, that noting when this administration took office, it was discovered that this unit was not properly equipped to conduct surgeries, therefore, the Government is taking steps to enhance the unit’s efficiency.

Dr. Cummings also clarified that there are standard operating procedures and guidelines, which the Public Health Ministry will encourage the medical personnel to follow.

Other speakers on the motion included Opposition MPs, Dr. Frank Anthony, who raised concerns about the management of the health institution, and Vishwa Mahadeo.

Additionally, the Fifth Special Report of the Parliamentary Sectoral Committee on Social Services, on the visit to the Georgetown Public Hospital on Wednesday, May 3, 2017, was also adopted in the House.

Opposition MP, Dr. Vindhya Persaud expressed satisfaction with the functioning of the Cardiac Unit and commended the staff for their efficiency, however, she pointed to the shortages in pharmaceuticals at the time of the visit and the need for more medical staff to address the crowding of the Accident and Emergency Unit.

The Government side of the House assured that these challenges, many which existed prior, are being addressed with alacrity. Reference was made by Dr. Cummings to the Vision 2020 initiative, which seeks to improve healthcare delivery in the country.

In relation to the recommendation for the hospital to have its own bond, the Minister told the House that, “this recommendation has been acted upon immediately,” with the setting up of a new bond, which will come to fruition shortly.

Work is being done to improve the triage system at the GPHC to service those patients that require immediate attention. She attributed the overcrowding to persons’ perception that as the premier institution, better service is being offered there.

The minister reiterated government’s commitment to ensuring an efficient and modern Public Health sector.

Opposition MP, Dr. Jennifer Westford also made a presentation on the motion.

The next sitting of Parliament will be on April, 26, 2018.


By: Stacy Carmichael


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