Gov’t investing in hinterland healthcare services
-aim to bring quality, services on par with coastland
Member of Parliament, Dr. Vishwa Mahadeo says all efforts are being made to bring healthcare in the hinterland regions and riverine communities up to par with the services available on the coast.
During his contribution to the 2021 National Budget on Monday, Dr. Mahadeo said steps are already being taken to realise this commitment President Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali made to residents in far-flung communities.
“I am happy to say that Regional Health Officers (RHOs) with hinterland responsibility have all welcomed the new direction of taking health care to the people.
They are working to ensure that over the next few years, all pregnant mothers, in the course of the pregnancy, must be offered the services to have their bloodwork done, to be seen by a doctor at least once, to have a dental check at least once, to have at least one ultrasound, to know her status with a Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) counsellor among other necessary and relevant tests,” Dr. Mahadeo told the National Assembly.
Dr. Mahadeo, who is the Director-General at the Ministry of Health, said facilities would be built and staff trained to ensure residents are provided with quality healthcare.
“For the first time, there is a rehab therapist attached to Bartica Hospital and Mabaruma Hospital in Region One, we have a therapist identified as well. We would, for the first time, have at least one therapist in every region.”
The Government also plans to create a database to register all persons in the hinterland who have had an amputation, suffered a stroke or spinal cord injury and children with disabilities to address the gaps in their care and enhance their quality of life.
There are also plans for an operating theatre at the Moruka Hospital, complete with ICU, X-ray and laboratory services, while the Mabaruma Hospital will increase its surgical capacity, ICU and other services, along with 12 additional doctors.
“For the first time, doctors will be placed at Whitewater, Arakaka, Barama River, Chinese Landing, two physicians at Baramita plus more nursing staff. We will provide ATV ambulances to areas with need for such vehicles and increase the number of Community Health Workers by having training done in the Region,” Dr. Mahadeo said.
The Director-General said similar plans are being made to improve health services in other parts of the country.
In the health infrastructure disbursement, $860 million of the budgeted $2.8 billion has been set aside for upgrading and infrastructural development of SMART Hospitals. This includes hospitals in Mabaruma, Lethem and Paramakatoi, while another $100 million has been allocated for surgical interventions, maternal and child health at the Aishalton and Kumaka District Hospitals.
Additionally, $140 million has been budgeted for upgrades to maternal waiting homes and facilities in specific regions including Moruca and Kato.
Senior Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance Dr. Ashni Singh, presented Government’s $383.1 billion 2021 budget in the National Assembly last week.