Issues at Diamond Hospital already being addressed – Minister Lawrence

GINA, GUYANA, Monday, April 10, 2017

Minister of Public Health, Volda Lawrence said that issues that were highlighted at the Diamond Hospital during a recent visit by the Parliamentary Sectoral Committee on Social Services are being addressed.

The Ministry of Public Health has been working along with the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) to ensure the issues are addressed in a timely manner.

The Minister told the Government Information Agency (GINA) that capital expenditure items including the installation of critical equipment, along with the expansion of the facility had been factored into the 2017 budget.

“In January of this year, upon assuming office, I visited the Diamond hospital, myself and a team, and we put together a report of all the issues that there were. We followed up that with a meeting between the Director of Regional Health Services, the Chairman of Region Four, the Regional Executive Officer (REO) of Region Four and the Regional Health Officer (RHO) of Region Four and we shared our findings with them and so they had a list of things which we were able to identify that were in the budget and so those are things that would come on stream during this year,” Minister Lawrence explained.

More specifically, the Minister of Public Health added that new equipment such as the bio-chemistry analyser had already been purchased. However, its installation is pending due to ongoing electrical rehabilitation. While this is happening, the hospital is unable to provide the requisite level of health care to persons in need.

Lawrence highlighted that she has realised that during the Sectoral Committee’s visit staff complained of the poor services offered, as reported in the local newspapers. “The machines that they spoke about, they are already purchased, but we are waiting on the electrical work to be done. One of the issues that have hampered the progress is because of the extension works that are being done there. They were doing a lot of physical work so we were told by the region that the electrical works that were going on had to wait and instead of doing it piece, piece they were going to review the panels and all of that.”

Meanwhile the minister said that the chairperson has not reported to the Ministry of Public Health since the visit. The visits undertaken by the committee are expected to support swift interventions by the government towards ensuring that health service provision is improved.

The Diamond Diagnostic Centre referred to as the Diamond Regional Hospital caters for thousands of patients along the East Bank Demerara corridor on a daily basis. The Ministry of Public Health is currently working towards having all regional hospitals in Guyana provide optimum services, removing the burden and influx of outpatients at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation(GPHC).

The Sectoral Committee is in the process of visiting health care facilities across Guyana to ascertain the state of services being offered to the general public. The committee consists of Opposition members Dr. Vindhya Persaud, who is the Chairperson of the committee, Alister Charlie, Dr. Vishwa Mahadeo and Indranie Chandarpaul. Representatives of government include Minister in the Ministry of Public Health, Dr. Karen Cummings, Minister in the Ministry of Communities, Valerie Adams – Patterson, Minister of Natural Resources Raphael Trotman and Minister in the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Valerie Garrido-Lowe.

 

By: Delicia Haynes

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