Medical Specialists in Bartica significantly reduce referrals of health cases to GPH– some 7000 patients seen thus far for 2017

DPI, Guyana, Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Regional Health Officer (RHO) Region Seven, Dr. Edward Segala has given updates on the region’s health service delivery thus far for 2017. One of the highlights for 2017 is the fact that just about 7000 patients were seen by specialised doctors at the Bartica Regional hospital for the first six months of the year.

Dr. Edward Segala, Regional Health Officer, Region 7.

The RHO lends this to the fact that the Bartica Regional hospital has received its full complement of medical specialists. Dr. Segala outlined that eight medical specialists are now staffed at the hospital. These include a General Surgeon, Anesthesiologist, Cardiologist, Obstetrician/Gynaegologist, Pediatrician, Hematologist and specialists in internal medicine and trauma and orthopedics

“I think we have been able to reduce significantly the number of cases that would have to go to Georgetown and get medical attention. Figures for the first six months of this year approximately close to 7000 patients were seen by medical specialists. You can imagine if all of those would have to go to Georgetown to be seen”, Dr. Segala explained.

Head of the Accidents and Emergency (A&E) Unit at the Georgetown Hospital, Dr. Zulfikar Bux confirmed that there has been a reduction in referrals from Bartica to the tertiary facility since specialists have been operating in the Region.

Since 2015, the Ministry of Public Health has been working to decentralise health services in all regions and has advocated for a bridged gap in the delivery of healthcare between the hinterland and coastal regions.

The goal was to have regional hospitals in Regions One, Seven Eight and Nine equipped with the requisite specialists which will ultimately decrease the number of referrals to the Georgetown Public Hospital.

The GPHC as determined by senior health practitioners is overburdened with referrals of emergency cases from all ten administrative regions. Additionally, hinterland regions would often refer maternity and snake-bite cases on a large scale

By extension, the RHO noted that there are 24 medical specialist doctors throughout the region. More specifically, specialists are strategically spread throughout the region. “For the first time we have two doctors at Middle Mazaruni, that is Issano so they cover a big area also in Upper Mazaruni we have doctors covering from Imbaimadai we have two, Jawalla we have one, Kako soon one doctor to go there, Kamarang two, Waramadong one, Parima one”, the RHO noted.

Dr. Segala added that having medical specialists in the region now means that the region would have reduced medivacs. “That same money that we are spending on evacuating those patients it will help to improve and better health services in the region.”

Meanwhile, the RHO underscored that the shortage of nurses in the region remains an issue which needs to be urgently addressed. He believes that with a full complement of nurses employed, especially at regional and district hospitals, will balance the work already being done in the region by medical specialists.

 

By: Delicia Haynes

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