MoPH geared to maximise and improve health services in 2019

– With the approval of the 2019 budget

DPI, Guyana, Thursday, December 13, 2018

On the evening of December 13, in the Parliamentary Committee of Supply, the Ministry of Public Health’s budgetary allocation was approved. All seven of the ministry’s programmes came under scrutiny with answers provided by the government side.

Minister of Public Health Volda Lawrence answered queries regarding the first five programmes while Minister within the Ministry of Public Health, Dr. Karen Cummings answered for the remaining two.

The $35.9Million allocated to the Public Health sector includes the budgetary allocation for health services in all ten administrative regions in addition to the $25.2Billion set aside for the central ministry.

The programmes identified under the central ministry along with their budgetary allocation are as follows:

  • Policy Development and Administration – $2.2B
  • Disease Control – $2.3B
  • Family Health Care Services – $1.7B
  • Regional and Clinical Services – $16.8B
  • Health Sciences Education – $720M
  • Standards and Technical Services – $1.B
  • Disability and rehabilitation $441M

Opposition members of Parliament focused their attention on the rental of buildings, the construction of facilities, the purchase of drugs and medical supplies among other line items.

Under the programme, Policy Development and Administration the Minister outlined that several buildings are currently being rented by the ministry. Even as the ministry is in the process of re-building a complex at Lot 1 Brickdam. This will allow for the elimination of the current rental of the administrative facilities by the ministry.

Those buildings currently being rented include buildings for housing personnel of the Cuban medical brigade, nursing students in Linden and New Amsterdam and the former Citizen’s Bank building which is being used to house administrative staff.

For disease control, the ministry will oversee the construction of an entomology laboratory at a cost of $30Million while specific equipment at a cost of $13Million will be purchased. Programme three – family health care services, has allocations for the rehabilitation of CC Nicholson Hospital and Lethem Waiting Home, equipping of maternity waiting wing – Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation.

Also, under this programme, budgetary allocations cater for a dental unit, dental chairs, sterilisers, hemocue machines, aspirators, dopplers, autoclaves, ultrasound scalers, dental compressors, x-ray machine and measuring boards. $15Million has been set aside in this regard.

For regional and clinical services, a number of programmes are expected to take form. These include the completion of electrical works and the construction of nurses’ quarters at Port Kaituma, completion of drug bonds at Kingston and Diamond, construction and equipping of the mortuary building at New Amsterdam Regional Hospital and Ruimveldt Polyclinic.

Further, there is to be the upgrading of the electrical system and rehabilitation of doctors’ quarters at Kwakwani Hospital, upgrading of electrical system and provision for installation of transformer, walls and floor of ophthalmology operating rooms at Linden Hospital Complex. This aspect comes at a cost of $466.3Million.

Provision has also been made for medical equipment for the Port Kaituma Hospital.

Health Sciences education will see improved facilities for nursing students at Linden and New Amsterdam. These projects include the construction of multi-purpose centre at Charles Rosa School of Nursing and the construction of a fence, canteen, drains and laundry bay at New Amsterdam School of Nursing.

Disability and rehabilitation services will be improved with the purchase of a bus, costing $9Million while other allocations in this programme cover the purchase of otoscopes, wave therapy machine, typanometers, beds, stationary bikes, weight bare, dumbbells and ankle weights.

Delicia Haynes.

Images: Keno George.