Health infrastructure to be transformed this year – Dr Anthony

A host of infrastructural developments is expected to be seen in the health sector this year, including the establishment of several new hospitals and major upgrades to existing facilities.

The sector will, this year receive $84.9 billion as its budgetary allocation.

Minister, Dr Frank Anthony, during a panel discussion on Budget 2023 Thursday, said the allocation is in keeping with the president’s vision of creating a world-class healthcare system in Guyana.

“In the health sector, we have had that opportunity to provide a better quality of health care. In the public sector, we have more than 420 different facilities and we feel that some of these facilities, especially at the hospital level it is not enough, and one of the discussions that we have had is how do we improve hospital facilities,” he noted.

Health Minister, Dr Frank Anthony

This year, construction will commence on the six new regional hospitals in various parts of the country, the contracts for which were awarded last year.

“We have also allocated money in this year’s budget to do substantial improvement in the hinterland hospitals. So Lethem, for example, will have a major upgrade. In Mabaruma and Moruca, you will see us upgrading the hospitals there as well as in Kamarang and Kato. We will be building a new hospital at Mahdia…we will be improving that hospital as well, and while we are doing all of that we will also do a brand-new hospital at Bartica,” the health minister disclosed.

Emphasis will also be placed on the new referral hospitals, and a 256-bed maternal and child health hospital with the capability to do pediatric cardiac surgeries and other specialty services, and care for patients.  

“We want to aim to be a world-class provider of health care services, the only way we would be able to do that, we have to build more level five hospitals,” the health minister pointed out.

Apart from building physical infrastructure, there will also be upgrades to keep medical records electronically. 

“Later this year, we will start putting in the infrastructure to do electronic health records. We will be going to parliament to address the legislation, and to make sure people’s records are held properly and confidentially. So, you would see a total rollout of systems that will allow for faster access of records, but at the same time you must maintain people’s privacy with these records,” he added.

Work will also be done to have digital medical imaging like CT scans, mammograms, teleradiology, telepathology, and teleophthalmology, which will be linked to the interior of Guyana. Primary healthcare will also see some changes in protocols and the introduction of newer, more effective medication for common diseases in Guyana.

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