Health Ministry commences hinterland outreaches
DPI, Guyana, Monday, January 15, 2018
In an effort to provide the best medical services to residents of hinterland regions, the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) has taken an initiative to focus on those communities for the year 2018.
On Sunday, Public Health Minister Volda Lawrence commenced the process, with a visit to Paramakatoi and Kato in Region Eight (Potaro-Siparuni).
Region Eight is the first on the list of indigenous regions the Ministry plans to reach out to during this year. Regions One (Barima-Waini), Seven (Cayuni-Mazaruni), and Nine (Upper Takatu/Upper Essequibo) are also on the list for visits.
The Minister, along with her team including Deputy Chief Medical Officer (DCMO) Dr. Karen Gordon-Boyle, Director of Regional Health Services Dr. Kay Shako, Malaria Programme Coordinator, Vector Control Services Dr. Quacy Grant, and other technical officials visited the communities, to ascertain, among other things, the quality of health services provided to villagers.
The Minister’s first stop was at the Paramakatoi health centre, which revealed several challenges, including staff shortage, insufficient drugs, and poor infrastructure. Minister Lawrence assured that these issues will be addressed in the shortest possible time.
“We decided that we are going to come out to all of these regions and (not coming out to these regions as Ministers), but coming out to these regions to ensure that the services that we said we are going to provide, that they are provided,” she told residents of Paramakatoi.
At a meeting, residents raised a number of issues including the unavailability of the Medical Evacuation (Medivac) service in a few times of emergency, the inability to afford the service from time to time when it is available, to poor conditions of the hostel for indigenous people in Region Four. They also called for an increase in the stipend given to students enrolled in the Pharmacy Assistant program. One of their biggest demands was for a district hospital to be constructed to service villagers and residents in the outlying areas.
Over in Kato, the very problems which existed at Paramakatoi, are being experienced at the cottage hospital at that location. The institution is in need of a full-time doctor, a lab technologist, and a midwife, among other staff members.
“We have received the second largest portion of the budget for this year in the Ministry of Public Health. And having received that we are not going to sit in Georgetown and believe that everything is “hunky dory” and good with you,” Minister Lawrence told Kato residents.
She promised both communities that her Ministry will work to offer to them the very services that are available to residents on the coastland. The Health Minister also distributed a wide range of pharmaceuticals to both health institutions, but that was not before she visited the worship service of the Paramakatoi Wesleyan Church.
By: Alexis Rodney
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