Health Ministry addressing citizens’ concerns through ‘meet the public’ day

─ emphasis placed on utilising primary healthcare before Georgetown hospital

DPI, Guyana, Friday, February 8, 2019

On Friday, the Ministry of Public Health hosted a grand ‘meet the public’ day during which members of the public and staff had the opportunity to raise concerns with the ministers and senior staff.

Although the interactions were scheduled to start at 09:30hrs, people flocked the ministry’s Brickdam headquarters earlier. Those who had the opportunity to meet with the ministers testified that there was immediate action taken for their respective cases.

Maylene Fingall was among the first to be at the ministry. According to her, she had spoken to an advisor of the minister and that prompted immediate action into her situation. For her, the meeting with the minister was to cement the entire process and express her gratitude.

“As I have come here, I was able to speak with Sister Hicks and tell her about my situation and my complaints, and she listened to me very readily and the necessary intervention was given me with regards to what I had to and where I have to go,” Fingall told the Department of Public Information (DPI).

Fingall is a pensioner who suffers spinal and hip injuries which limit her mobility in and around her home. She received a walker and other mobility equipment which will enable her to be more independent.

Apart from giving the public the opportunity to interact with officials, the ministry also emphasised the availability and importance of primary health care in their various communities.

Minister within the Ministry of Public Health, Dr. Karen Cummings explained that most of the issues highlighted regarded access to and the utilisation of primary healthcare services.

“What people do is they bypass where they are and go straight to Georgetown hospital, so we really want to clamp on the number of persons going there and bypassing where they are living. So, it’s a way of reorienting you, ensuring that you make use of the facilities nearby so when you come here, we guide you to that as well as if there is an immediate need we try to address that.”

The ministry also utilised the opportunity to sensitise persons about several other services they can access.

Sis. Caroline Hicks, Technical Advisor on Nursing to the senior minister, said that the public day is a continuous event where ministers continue to meet the public.

She explained that on days like these “we also have a desk where we are seeing persons with difficulty with scholarships and job issues or the workplace issues. We also have a medical assistance desk which is very much important for people to know that if there is surgery they have to do, and they cannot afford to do it or it’s not available at Georgetown Hospital we can assist thereby helping financially.”

It was reiterated that ‘meet the public days’ are usually conducted but on a small scale (at least once weekly) by both ministers and would continue as the ministry strives to address the concerns of citizens.

Delicia Haynes.

Images: Marceano Narine.

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