Cuban Intensivists to give support at Infectious diseases hospital

Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony, MP, says the staff complement at the infectious diseases hospital at Liliendaal will be boosted with the skills of several Intensivists who arrived in Guyana on Monday, in the new Cuban Medical Brigade.

During Tuesday’s COVID-19 Update, he said the Intensivists, certified physicians who provide special care for critically ill patients in intensive care units, are among those who were requested to aid Guyana’s fight against COVID-19.

Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony MP

“The composition of the new doctors, we have changed that a little bit because we tried to prioritise where we have the greatest needs right now, and the greatest needs would be in the management of COVID-19 patients.

“We need people who can operate our intensive care unit. And as you know, we have expanded that unit to have now about 45 beds with ventilators and monitors and so forth. So, when you have a patient in the intensive care unit, it’s quite an intensive process, meaning that the doctor and nurse ratio per patient is almost like a one-on-one ratio, so, you need a lot of people to be able to monitor these patients.’

The Minister noted that in addition to the local staff, the Government thought it would be best to increase the complement with new doctors from Cuba, with this specialty.

“And so, we asked them to send us at least 20 Intensivists…. They understand how to use things like ventilators and so forth and they would be ideal to work in this particular unit, so that’s why we have asked for these doctors in anticipation of a surge of the Delta variant.

“We thought that this would be the best use of our resources to prioritise having a skill set in the intensive care unit.”

Minister Anthony said every precaution against the Delta variant is being taken; however, he noted that a COVID-19 vaccine is the best defence against the disease and variant.

In addition to the Intensivists, the Brigade also includes general surgeons, anaesthesiologists, gynaecologists, paediatricians, nurses, pharmacists, laboratory technicians and biomedical engineers.

The biomedical engineers, Minister Anthony said, are relied upon to assist in maintaining equipment in the local medical institutions. He said Guyana does not yet have the capacity and therefore relies on the Brigade for this support.

Currently, the Government is seeking assistance from the Pan American Health Organization to start a programme in biomedical engineering and another for biomedical technicians in Guyana.