Jiangsu Province, China extends hand of cooperation with Guyana to modernise healthcare

– Standing Committee VC meets Public Health top brass

– Envisions cooperation in other sectors

DPI, Guyana, Monday, December 3, 2018

A delegation from the Province of Jiangsu, the Peoples’ Republic of China met with a high-level team from the Ministry of Public Health led by Hon. Volda Lawrence, Minister of Public Health, to commit to efforts of improving and modernising healthcare in Guyana.

Vice Chairman (VC) of the Standing Committee of the Jiangsu Provincial People’s Congress, Chen Zhenning is heading the delegation comprised of representatives from various sectors within Jiangsu Province. Jiangsu is the state from which the Chinese Medical Brigades to Guyana is deployed biennially.

VC Zhenning initially indicated that the team’s visit to Guyana is to meet with the medical brigade in the country and to conduct a needs assessment on Guyana so as to have a better understanding since their knowledge is lacking in some areas.

This is the team’s first visit to Guyana. VC Zhenning told the Public Health Ministry’s team that based on his understanding of the country’s resources, he envisions great cooperation potential in the near future.

He noted that for a number of years China and Guyana have enjoyed the fruits of bilateral relations and it must continue. “I think we should explore more areas for further cooperation especially in the field of public health. There is a lot that we can do and we also hope Minister Lawrence could also transfer our suggestions to your country’s officials so that we can also conduct cooperation in other fields including the social and the economic fields.”

The VC said that since the medical brigade’s first visit to Guyana in 1993 to date, they have been relying on these medical professionals to share ways in which they can help Guyana’s public health sector to improve.

Chief Executive Officer of the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation, Retired Brigadier George Lewis noted that the evidence of China’s contribution to Guyana is clearly demonstrated, particularly at Guyana’s tertiary health institutions.

“Since the arrival of medical brigades, overall performances have been exceptional including complex surgeries and the sharing of knowledge and experience with local medical professionals… Knowledge gained thus far has been exceptional and has gone towards implementing new strategies towards the improvement of healthcare.” Lewis said.

Further, the CEO added that for future missions the Jiangsu Province should expand the contribution of medical specialists to be onboard with incoming medical brigades. This, he said, will play a major in the development of medical professional’s exposure to specialised skills existing in the field of public health.

To this end, Zhenning suggested that the top-level management from the Ministry along with those of the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation pay a visit to Jiangsu province to examine its health system and adopt its best practices.

Junior Minister of Public Health, Dr. Karen Cummings who had previously visited the province, highlighted the public health system in the province and it’s modernised manner of operation. “No doubt, we recognise that there are some areas of health where your province has emerged in a very significant way and Guyana would certainly like to learn and we would certainly like to be able to have that expertise here on our soil so that we can be able to provide a better quality of care to our people.”

The Ministry of Public Health usually facilitates a team of doctors from the Peoples’ Republic of China who spends two years in Guyana conducting surgeries mainly at the GPHC while outreaches are done countrywide. The 14th Brigade was welcomed in June as Guyana bid farewell to the 13th contingent which boasted of completing 3000+ surgeries among other medical activities.

Delicia Haynes.

Images: Jules Gibson.

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