Guyana to make medical services accessible to diaspora, foreign nationals

Guyana is working to provide optimum quality healthcare services to citizens as well as members of the diaspora and foreign nationals.

A nurse cares for a patient in a health facility

With the advancements being made in the health sector, Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony said more persons residing outside of Guyana could travel here to receive medical care.

He told DPI Wednesday, that persons are already accessing Guyana’s health services as they are very affordable.

“In the area of dentistry for example, there are lots of people who come back here to get dental services, because as you can imagine, dental services in North America are quite expensive so, we see a lot of Guyanese who come back home to get those services here, especially those who don’t have insurance coverage abroad,” Dr. Anthony said.

A nurse cares for a patient at a health facility

On January 24, 2022, the Human Organ and Tissue Transplant Bill 2021 was passed in the National Assembly. The legislation provides the legal framework for the removal of human organs, tissues, cells, and biofluids for transplantation and blood transfusion.

We were able to transplant a kidney for someone from Grenada, a doctor from Grenada, and I think since we have done that there have been lots of queries of whether we can do transplants for other persons, so this is something we are considering because we have the capability, we have the expertise, so it is something that is under active consideration,” Dr. Anthony said.

The health minister foresees a lot of persons returning for certain types of treatment as the quality of health care improves in Guyana.

“We will have to start working on, even for those persons in the diaspora, who, if they have insurance over there, to make sure that they can use their insurance here, in that way they can come here access the service and their insurance would pay for it, so that agreement is right now not in place but we are going to change that and hopefully their insurance will be accepted in Guyana,” Dr, Anthony said.

Guyana has been making headway in a number of medical services.

PPP/C government recently reopened the National Ophthalmology Hospital in Port Mourant. Corentyne. This facility offers services including cataract surgery and lens replacement.

Other procedures including hip and knee replacement surgeries are also done locally.

“I think as time goes by, more and more people might want to come here, to get those types of sophisticated surgery,” Dr. Anthony said.

In two years, Guyana will open a state-of-the-art pediatric and maternal hospital along the East Coast of Demerara, which will provide specialty services that currently are only available overseas.

Treatment for cancers will also be improved and Guyana will soon be the first country in the Caribbean to roll out a holistic public health programme for Hepatitis -C.

“I anticipate that once our programme gets going that we would see people coming here to access this type of treatment, In the United States its very expensive to access Hep -C treatment, so if you are not insuring it’s going to be difficult for you to access that type of treatment,” Dr. Anthony said.