Exceptional healthcare delivery starts with you – Min. Lawrence to RHOs

DPI, Guyana, Friday, April 20, 2018

Regional Health Officers (RHOs) were urged by Minister of Public Health, Volda Lawrence to step up and adopt professionalism which would contribute to exceptional health care delivery in their respective regions. The minister took the opportunity today, to interact with RHOs as they completed a three-day capacity building workshop session from April 18 to 20, 2018.

Minister of Public Health, Volda Lawrence.

The minister examined the areas where the RHOs submitted themselves for training. She singled out the area of Emotional Intelligence and Cultural Awareness which, she said, is likely to equip RHOs and other senior health administrators in the region to deal with individuals on a daily basis.

“This is a big one for all of us,” she said, “you go to medical school and learn so much about the human anatomy… but you are not taught to deal with the emotional aspects (of life). You have to deal with your own emotions, your staff emotions and the emotions of those people you serve.”

The minister further added, “how the RHO treats the staff will tell how the staff will treat patients”. Essentially, RHOs must be aware of the individuals they interact with and learn how to manage their personal emotions without having the workflow affected. “It begins with you…” Minister Lawrence said.

She reminded that the RHOs must ensure the power vested in them, benefits the people. She also addressed the burning issue of human resource gaps which affect the efficient delivery of healthcare.

The minister assured this will be addressed since it is impossible to build a resilient health care system if the necessary and adequate professionals are not available, geared and equipped to perform the critical duties.

“I recognised that you were acting without the support mechanism in most cases… we have seen in Region Four where you have the city, the east coast and the east bank, one person was asked to managed all those areas… today we have someone covering the east bank corridor, someone covering the east coast corridor along with the RHO.” Minister Lawrence explained.

The gathering of Regional Health Officers (RHOs) and other senior health officials along with regional health services staff at the final day of training.

In this regard, the ministry is moving in the direction of creating and filling support positions, such as acting RHOs, who can assist in reducing the workload normally assigned to a single person.

The Public Health Minister added that “we have Region Eight, with two sub-regions but one Regional Health Officer… so it is my task as the head of the ministry to ensure that as soon as possible we can get an acting RHO so one person can be in one sub-region and the other in the next part of the region.”

Most of the inefficiencies in hinterland regions, relating to communication and timely interventions can be corrected if this is put in place. The regions earmarked to have appointed assistants/acting RHOs are Regions One, Seven, Eight and Nine.

It is expected that upon return to their respective regions, those trained at the RHOs meeting will be able to function more effectively in their various capacities. For Dr. Andy DaSilva, Regional Health Officer (ag) for Region Five, this was his first meeting with other RHOs, he noted that the training is of great importance.

“The experience will give me an insight of ways that I can help to develop the health care system of Region Five. We have had some positive discussions and we have been given skills to help us to better effect our managerial roles and responsibilities.” Dr. DaSilva said.


By: Delicia Haynes


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