Making collaboration more tangible

– regional health officers urged to create avenues for partnership

DPI, Guyana, Wednesday, July 11, 2018

There is a continuous push by the Regional Health Services Department of the Ministry of Public Health to have healthcare providers in the regions deliver services in a timely manner.

A recently held Regional Health Officers meeting saw health officers and other professionals from all ten administrative regions attending. These retreat-oriented meetings are held just after mid-year giving the RHS department and regional health departments the opportunity to assess the delivery of health care for the past year.

They also seek to improve on shortcomings while maximising the diverse potential each region possesses. One critical player in the delivery of regional health services is the Ministry of Communities.

Also, a critical component in the successful delivery of these health services is the closely knitted collaboration fostered between a region’s administration and a region’s health department. Since budgetary allocation for regions’ health services is incorporated in the Regional Democratic Council’s (RDCs) budget, it is important for the administration to be aware of the more significant needs of the sector.

Minister within the Ministry of Public Health, Dr. Karen Cummings urged health officers to be cognizant of the vital role played by the Ministry of Communities in the delivery of healthcare. In this regard, she noted that all persons may not be able to access quality and equitable healthcare in the absence of a strategic collaboration within regions.

“The delivery of public healthcare services is undeniably a collaborative one, hence the Ministry of Communities being represented here (at the RHOs meeting). The Ministry of Communities and Public Health must work collaboratively to ensure that public healthcare services are delivered to every Guyanese in the most competent and proficient way possible.”

She further posited that Regional Health Services mandates health officers to step up and demonstrate communication and accountability which will create avenues for partnership between the two central ministries.

“RHS is the nerve centre of the Ministry of Public Health. It is through this department that public healthcare is delivered in every region, therefore, it is imperative that each officer in the department of health in the respective regions recognises that he or she has a major responsibility to provide optimum service to each person in the region who requires healthcare.” Minister Cummings added.

The Regional Health Officers with medical superintendents of hospitals and programme heads of the ministry had the opportunity to learn how they can foster more collaboration within the region. This, in turn, will bear fruit with improved health services throughout Guyana.

By: Delicia Haynes

Images: Anil Seelall