Detailed budgeting, regional staff training among major provisions for regions – RHOs

DPI, GUYANA, Saturday, July 7, 2017

At the conclusion of Regional Health Officers Capacity building exercise, the need was highlighted for the officers to oversee functions and duties of health care providers in the respective regions. This is to ensure the effective management of the sector at the regional level.

Regional Health Officer, Region Five, Dr. Steven Chefoon

Over the last two days at the Lake Mainstay Resort, RHOs were equipped in the preparation of detailed financial budgets. This would make it possible for the precise needs to be provided for in the regions. In the preparation of budgets for any fiscal year, the RHOs will now be able to prioritise needs in the sector, making the sector a priority in the region.

Various RHOs echoed the need to train regional staff on health financing and budgeting, financial management, medical supplies and equipment procurement, understanding laws governing the health sector in Guyana among other areas.

Regional Health officer, Region Five, Dr. Steven Chefoon said, “This year’s budget, when we were preparing it (last year), persons are still submitting things and they are not giving you justification on why they want, they just submit… so I think there is a need to educate them (regional staff) and let them know why this is important.”

The Administrator for the Bartica Regional Hospital, Merlene Ferrier emphasised the need to have various locations within her region which will facilitate continued training of Community Health Workers and other staff.

“Having all these health workers trained in the consumption and distribution process it takes the timeline of about a year. Bartica is not only the central area. There should be a hub in Bartica and in Kamarang so when we talk about training we talking about two or three different areas of training.”

Merlene Ferrier, Administrator, Bartica Regional Hospital

From time to time, when RHOs present the region’s health budget to the Regional Executive Officials, critical and key items are not given priority since items requested have no indications of its use in the region. These items would not be included in the region’s general budget.

“I am planning on engaging the Ministry of Health planning division to have a training session done with the regional councillors of the RDC. What I gather from them they don’t understand budget and they tend to take things out from the budget that are actually needed in the region.” Dr. Chefoon added.

Other areas for capacity building include the Integrated Health Systems Delivery and Health Governance and Policy. It was continually stressed at previous RHOs meetings, that there is still a need for improved communication between the Ministry of Public Health and the Ministry of Communities. This is seen as one of the contributing factors to the continuous issues which affects health care delivery, especially in remote areas.

RHOs and other health sector representatives also shared the issues proposed for action to be taken, that must be addressed by the next RHOs meeting. RHOs indicated the timeline for various aspects of training and programme implementation which would help to address a number of issues that exist within the regions.

By: Delicia Haynes

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