Govt envisions quality healthcare for all, bridging the gap between hinterland, coastland

─ govt examining possibility of establishing a cottage hospital for Orealla-Siparuta villages

─ “this was a mandate passed on by the president himself to ensure that every Guyanese, despite their location, can access the same level and quality of health care at any public health institution” – Min. Lawrence

DPI, Guyana, Friday, October 12, 2018

Residents and other stakeholders of Orealla Village, Upper Corentyne River, Region Six, were recently informed of government’s plans to bridge the gaps which exist in health care delivery between the hinterland and coastland communities.

Minister of Public Health, Volda Lawrence, while visiting the area, said this was a mandate passed on by the president himself to ensure that every Guyanese, despite their location, can access the same level and quality of health care at any public health institution.

“His Excellency, David Granger said that whatever inequalities exist presently, he would like us to address them. In other words, he was saying to the Ministry of Public Health that whatever services you can access on the coastland, when you go to the far-flung areas you must be able to access those same services,” Minister Lawrence explained.

As such, she said that the government is examining the possibility of establishing a cottage hospital for Orealla and Siparuta villages.

“We are not only thinking about now and we are not just thinking about fixing a window and door only, we are thinking about how we can begin to project our plans to 2025 and 2030 and for these two communities we would like to ensure that at least there is a cottage hospital here to serve you instead of you having to go down the river.”

It was noted that the general view is that health services are better on the coastland than in the hinterland regions. Admitting that this might have been the case in years past, Minister Lawrence said that services are continuously being upgraded as evidenced in the reduced referrals to the country’s main healthcare institution; the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC).

Regional and district hospitals across the country have seen upgrades such as the addition of more staff along with specialists and new services including surgeries to deal with eye care, dental, and physiotherapy services as well as equipment for emergency services. The hinterland health care facilities and those in far-flung areas are mostly targeted for such upgrades.

“We are presently reviewing all of our health care facilities to see what upgrade we need to provide to these health facilities so that we could offer more services… we want to be able to upgrade the health services in these parts, so we can offer you more health services and that is what this government is all about,” Minister Lawrence explained.

By: Delicia Haynes.

Images: Anil Seelall.

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