Min. Lawrence meets with Guyanese diaspora in Washington DC.
─ highlights plans for public health sector
─ shares sector’s progress to date
DPI, Guyana, Thursday, September 27, 2018
A gathering of Guyanese in the diaspora, specifically in Washington DC., was apprised of the progress being made throughout Guyana’s health sector. They also heard of plans in the pipeline to improve the current status of healthcare delivery in the country.
Minister of Public Health, Volda Lawrence on Wednesday evening engaged these individuals on the developments being put forward in their home country. The minister highlighted that there have been several policy decisions made by the government through the Ministry of Public Health that would impact health services in Guyana.
It was noted that Guyana is on the cusp of transformation as external investors are recognising the local potential and are seeking to tap into Guyana’s economy. One of the ways to do so is through the public health sector’s human resource, infrastructure and improvement of services.
As a potentially oil-producing state, the priority of the Public Health Ministry is to modernise health care in Guyana; starting with the development of human resources within this sector then the facilities which will enhance and improve quality of services.
In this regard, Minister Lawrence highlighted that while nurses are being trained, more needs to be done to retain and motivate them. As such, the Health Ministry has been engaged on many fronts seeking opportunities for nurses to upgrade and diversify their careers.
“Many of our nurses, they are excellent at what they do but they don’t see the hope of moving anywhere. It doesn’t matter what they study they will still be a nurse… that is why we are amending the Nurses Act. It will be able to open the gates of opportunity for them.”
The minister indicated that the government, in the near future, will establish a nursing college which will have a hospital attached.
“That way we will be able to attract students from Guyana and the Caribbean. That in itself will help us also at the economic level because they will need lodging and so on,” the minister explained.
Further, she went on to inform the diaspora of plans for infrastructural upgrades within the health sector. She pointed out that in the past there has been a culture of “adding on” and expanding buildings which may not be infrastructurally sound.
Using the Georgetown Public Hospital as an example, she explained that “…what happened is they just kept adding on rooms … Every month money was wasted and we are hoping to correct this.”
Minister Lawrence has been in Washington DC since September 23, participating in a regional health ministers meeting hosted by PAHO/WHO. Her role there is to represent Guyana and the public health sector for inclusion in activities and initiatives which will benefit the people of Guyana.