Mabaruma, other residents benefitting from $150M Smart Hospital
Residents of Mabaruma and neighbouring communities are now benefitting from the upgraded smart health facility in Mabaruma, Region One at a cost of $150 million.
Minister of Health, Dr Frank Anthony, in his address at the opening ceremony on Monday, underlined that the smart hospital project has helped the government refashion many healthcare facilities.
When the PPP/C Government assumed office in August 2020, he said the goal was to inspect and make the health facilities in Guyana energy-efficient with up-to-date medical services, while also being climate resilient.
Dr Anthony said these techniques can be utilised for future developments to ensure that the other facilities are up to that standard.
“We are going to use this as a demonstration of what we can do with other facilities in the country. We want to make sure that whatever the weather might be like, that we’ll be able not to get flooded and will continue health services,” Dr Anthony said.
The minister highlighted that over the last two years, the government has invested heavily in the health sector to ensure the wellbeing of all citizens.
Through that allocation in Region One, for example, the government has been able to build classrooms to train community health workers.
In every health centre and health post now in Region One, Dr Anthony emphasised, “We can comfortably say that we have, at least, two community health workers… and we are extending services.”
The minister noted that people were unsure of the services being offered at the district hospitals, health posts, and centres.
To alleviate this, with the assistance of the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO), the government has been able to map out at each level, the various services that will be delivered.
“We have started to put staff, to put the equipment in place, and to make sure that we can deliver these services,” the minister stated.
Some of the things that affect the region include Malaria which is still endemic in Region One.
The government is working assiduously to eradicate Malaria by 2030 in the regions that are affected too.
Dr Anthony added that the government has identified five diseases to be eliminated within the next few years.
This, would then, allow the government to free up resources to invest in other areas that are needed, the minister said.
Meanwhile, a number of programmes to enhance people’s health and wellbeing have been aggressively advanced by the ministry which include the distribution of hearing aids and the ‘snap on’ spectacle programme free of cost.
Dr Anthony highlighted that these programmes will be expanded and rolled out next year.
“Through these programmes, our intention was to take healthcare to people in the region, villages, to make sure that they can get the best healthcare,” he said.
As a way of expanding healthcare services to the hinterland communities, Dr Anthony added that, “Our hospitals in the interior can be on par with the hospitals in Georgetown. One way in which we can do that is to make sure that we can have internet connectivity so that imaging and so forth in these hospitals can be sent to Georgetown for interpretation…which is telemedicine.”
Earlier this month, the ministry formally launched the ‘National Telemedicine Programme’, a pilot programme that is being carried out in four remote communities in Region Nine.
The smart hospital was among five hospitals slated for an upgrade through the Smart Health Care Facilities in the Caribbean Project, a collaboration between the Government of Guyana and the United Kingdom (UK).
This forms part of the United Kingdom’s ‘Smart Hospital Initiative’ to the tune of US$4.2 million.
PAHO and the World Health Organisation (PAHO/WHO) supervised the project’s construction phase.
A medical facility that provides effective and modern medical care while also being climate resilient is referred to as a ‘Smart Hospital.’
A brand-new Accident and Emergency (A&E) department, a newly renovated recovery room, a cutting-edge Intensive Care Unit (ICU), a remodeled kitchen, a sterilization room, and two operating rooms are now available at Mabaruma Regional Hospital.
His Excellency, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali, Amerindian Affairs Minister, Pauline Sukhai, Housing and Water Minister, Collin Croal, Local Government and Regional Development Minister, Nigel Dharamlall, Regional Chairman, Brentnol Ashley, and the British High Commissioner to Guyana, Jane Miller also attended the recommissioning of the hospital.