Construction of $12.4B maternal and pediatric hospital to commence soon
The government says the design and land preparation for the new maternal and pediatric hospital are completed and the construction of the modern state-of-the-art facility will commence soon.
This was revealed by Health Minister, Dr Frank Anthony in his response to Opposition MP, Dr Karen Cummings in the Committee of Supply of the National Assembly on Thursday.
“The site is now prepared and very shortly we expect that they would be able to start putting down the foundation and start building the hospital,” Dr Anthony said.
Giving the details, he noted that the 256-bed hospital is slated to be completed in 2025.
“We had a team from the Georgetown Public Hospital Pediatrics Department who provide a lot of technical inputs into what should go into the pediatric section of the hospital. We also had a lot of consultants from the Obstetrics Department of the Georgetown hospital, participating in the technical design of the obstetrics side of the hospital,” Dr Anthony stated.
The hospital is being built by VAMED, an Austrian company that has constructed more than a thousand hospitals around the world.
He noted that the Austrian Government and the Government of Guyana signed an agreement in 2018 for the development of a number of health facilities here.
“One of the facilities that were earmarked was the Georgetown Public Hospital. When we came into government, we reviewed the agreement and we decided at the time, we wanted to build a maternal and child health hospital…and we amended that agreement,” Dr Anthony said.
He related that it is under this agreement that the maternal and child health hospital is being built.
“In terms of the financing, we are using the UK banks to finance this hospital and it is a very, very concessional rate and therefore through this arrangement of this MOU we have been able to do this quite successfully,” he added.
The contract for the hospital was signed in June last year.
The ministry is working on providing all the required training for the staff that will work at the hospital, both specialist doctors and nurses.
“With nurses, we have some specialised training that we are working on. We have some partnerships with universities in Canada to get our nurses specialised in the areas that we would need them to be in the new hospital and we have a partnership, as you know with Brazil where a number of nurses have gone there to get further training and that is going to continue,” the health minister noted.
Among other specialised services, the hospital will have a Pediatric Cardiac Unit that will conduct surgeries on children.
However, while the hospital is going to be built, this service will soon be started at the Georgetown Public Hospital.
“Hopefully will be able to operate on the first 20 or so children that have various types of cardiac problems, this year and we are hoping that we can continue that programme so when the hospital opens, it’s a natural flow, where this team that is going to be at the Georgetown hospital now, would go across to the hospital,” Dr Anthony added.