MOPH looking at getting Private Hospitals involved in COVID-19 fight.

–Guyana, 1 of 8 Caribbean countries trained to test for novel coronavirus

DPI, Guyana, Tuesday, April 7, 2020.

Private Hospitals may soon be able to begin testing for COVID-19. This is according to Minister of Public Health Volda Lawrence.

The Minister explained that her Ministry is currently working on Public-Private partnerships with private hospitals and has already initiated the process.

The Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr. Shamedo Persaud was given the task of contacting the private hospitals to discuss testing and their readiness to deal with COVID-19.

We recognise and we know that there are many Guyanese who usually seek care at private health facilities. We want to ensure that we can work with these private entities to ensure that they can provide these services,” Minister Lawrence said.

Further, she explained that it is not the view of the Ministry of Public Health that only GPHC should be testing for the novel coronavirus however the Ministry is working with initial guidelines set by PAHO/WHO.

Additionally, the Health Minister revealed that only polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing is proven effective at testing COVID-19 and that any facility that wishes to begin testing must be able to conduct this type of test.

If necessary, the Ministry of Public Health will share test kits with private hospitals and help them set up dedicated coronavirus Intensive Care Units. This is everybody’s fight. We do not embrace the RAPID tests for the testing of COVID-19.”

Guyana began testing for COVID-19 on February 26 but recorded its first case on March 11.