Massive injection into health care system as $73.2 billion budgeted

Minister within the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh, M.P., on Wednesday announced a $73.2 billion injection into the health sector for 2022.

The sum is some $19.7 billion more than what was allocated to the sector in 2021.

Minister within the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh, M.P.

Dr. Singh said government will be providing a world class healthcare system for the Guyanese people.

“Ensuring a modern, world class healthcare system is a paramount objective for our government, to this end, we will leverage existing and soon to be built public healthcare facilities, private investment, as well as public-private partnerships in the sector, with the aim of not only meeting the needs of our citizens and residents, but also to be able to offer medical treatment as an export service through medical tourism,” the minister told the National Assembly Wednesday while presenting the 2022 National Budget.

Minister Singh said the PPP/C Government will continue to expand access to health services and facilities across the country, while ensuring all facilities are sufficiently comfortable, operational and providing basic services.

“Our clear policy mandate is that every health facility across the country must be sufficiently comfortable, functional and equipped with all the basic amenities,” he added.

This year, of the approved budget, $16.1 billion will be expended to launch a major expansion in public health care facilities.

Of that amount, $12.4 billion will be used for the design and construction of a state-of-the-art paediatric and maternal hospital, upgrading of various hospitals including, West Demerara and Bartica regional hospitals, and the construction of six modern regional hospitals at Anna Regina, Tuschen, Diamond, Enmore, Bath and No. 75 Village, Corentyne.

The minister further stated, “these regional hospitals are expected to catapult healthcare delivery beyond current levels provided by existing regional facilities, as well as to reduce the undue cost and burden of referrals to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC).”

Meanwhile, another $220 million will be expended to retrofit and equip the Festival City Polyclinic, to benefit citizens by providing a wide variety of services such as dental, x-rays, and laboratory.

Further $1 billion will be allocated to improving patients’ experience, by upgrading all health centers across the regions.

Not forgetting medical and non-medical equipment, Dr. Singh said $2 billion has been budgeted for various projects, these include; the increased use of laparoscopic surgical techniques at the GPHC to improve surgical outcomes and reduce recovery time for patients.

Additionally, 2022 will see the introduction of vascular surgery, for the very first time while support will be provided for the reintroduction of paediatric cardiac services and upgrading of testing equipment, among other services to improve and support the healthcare sector.