‘Do not neglect your duties’ – Regional health director advises officers 

DPI, Guyana, Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Regional Health Officers (RHOs) were today reminded of their responsibilities by Director of Regional and Clinical Services, Dr Kay Shako.

Dr Shako was at the time giving remarks to a gathering of RHOs and senior medical staff at an RHO Conference held at Mainstay, Pomeroon-Supenaam.

Even though there were a series of advancements to highlight, the director took the opportunity to sternly inform the RHOs of what is expected. After an assessment was done for the first half of 2018, there was, she said, room for improvement. Dr Shako indicated that a turnaround is expected since the negatives have now been identified.

Among her main concerns, Dr. Shako spoke of RHOs’ conduct when performing their duties. She noted that this has an effect on the level of health care received by patients. This is a case whereby RHOs can lead the corps of health personnel by example.

“RHOs, you need to have respect for your position. You cannot be an RHO and you are drunk on the job, you cannot be an RHO and you are smoking on the job, you cannot be an RHO and you do not have respect for yourself, the way you look, your decorum.”

Also, she warned RHOs of the consequences attached to their inability to efficiently manage the resources allocated. This includes human resources, drugs and medical supplies. Other issues surround communication between the central ministry and regional health departments, reporting, managing and administering health programmes, services and supplies.

“RHOs do not neglect your duties. You have to communicate…with your Regional Democratic Council (RDC) office as well as the Ministry of Public Health….” she added.

Meanwhile, Minister of Communities, Ronald Bulkan commended Dr. Shako for boldly reminding staff of their shortcomings: “Dr Shako in a sense did read the riot act to our health professionals here and I congratulate her for her frankness and her forthright delivery in presentation because too often in discourses of this nature we tend to gloss over the inadequacies and the deficiencies in the system.”

Minister Bulkan noted that good governance and leadership at the local level is the means by which strategic health goals can be achieved: “The health sector is one of the more important pillars in our society, the life of each of our citizens matters. It matters that our children are adequately immunised, it matters that each of our pregnant mothers is guaranteed a safe delivery – that is a living mother and a living child. It matters that citizens have access to adequate drugs and medical supplies.”

This was supported by Minister within the Ministry of Public Health, Dr. Karen Cummings who advised the RHOs, “as you go through your deliberations… let your focus be on significantly improving the quality of healthcare we provide as a ministry and we must also explore more resourceful and operational ways of information sharing.”

In this regard, the emphasis was placed on fostering effective communication chains while becoming aligned with the overarching vision of the Public Health Ministry which is to achieve universal health coverage in a timely manner for all persons in Guyana.

By: Delicia Haynes.

Images: Anil Seelall.

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