Min Lawrence makes follow-up visit to Skeldon Hospital sees significant improvements

DPI, Guyana, Sunday, December 10, 2017

The staff of the Skeldon Hospital, located in Corentyne Berbice, are now benefitting from a number of improvements, that have been realised at the facility over the past few months.

Minister of Public Health Volda Lawrence, paid a visit to the hospital on November 9 for a follow-up tour. She previously visited, following her appointment as Public Health Minister and, “found the hospital in a state of disrepair and unfit for the efficient delivery of healthcare”.

Minister Lawrence meets and greets Alifa Alli, Pharmacist (ag) in the new pharmacy of the Skeldon Hospital.

“When I came here, the place was in a deplorable condition. I went to the Physiotherapy Department, they were boxes everywhere, the machines were in a corner. It could not be used by the clients because they did not have space. The condition of work by the laundress by the pharmacist. In the pharmacy, there was fungus on the wall, water was running down…”, Minister Lawrence recalled.

Noting that this is her third visit to the hospital during her 11 months as Minister of Public Health, she noted that the staffers collaborated with regional counterparts and community stakeholders to achieve some of the upgrades.

Minister Lawrence explained that “The improvements did not only come from us as a government; either by the Ministry of Public Health or the regional authorities. It also came from the business sector in the community and that makes me very, very happy.”

“We have taken the building that was built for the accident and emergency and to house the theatre, and we have turned it into the pharmacy. We have extended it to the physiotherapy and we can see the comfort in which the staff can work.” These new amenities were facilitated since these were the ones which needed immediate attention and relocation.

The physiotherapy and rehabilitation unit at the Skeldon hospital.

The building in which these departments are now housed was initially constructed to facilitate a new Accident and Emergency (A&E) Unit along with an operating theatre to for emergency cases. “This building had so many defects and it could not be used for an emergency department. We could not put a theatre in this building here because it was not built to the specification, and so it failed all standard requirements”, Minister Lawrence further explained.

It was added however that, monies have been allocated in the 2018 budget for the construction of a new building that will effectively house these two units.

The minister added that the improved conditions under which the Skeldon Hospital staff are now able to work “augers well for the services that are offered…”

Other improvements include air conditioners added to some areas while wards have been refurbished, and the nurses’ quarters, located in the hospital compound, which was also in a poor state.

According to the minister, “It was unbearable that any person could even stay in there for an hour or two, but they had no place to go.” The building is being refurbished with walls, rooves, plumbing and amenities being repaired. The building will also be repainted, giving it a fresh look. Upon completion, the hostel will now be able to house additional staff nurses.

Meanwhile, PAHO/WHO country representative Dr. William Adu-Krow has committed to assisting the facility in digitizing of pharmacy records making it easier to keep inventories and record of drug distribution.

 

By: Delicia Haynes

 

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