Multi-million-dollar X-ray machine commissioned at Diamond Hospital
─ First patient describes process as an “easy one”
A drastic reduction in transportation costs, faster and more comprehensive diagnoses, reduced patient transfers, and better emergency care are just some of the benefits that can now be expected by residents of Diamond and the surrounding areas.
This comes following the commissioning of a new digital X-ray machine, valued upwards of $100 million, at the Diamond Diagnostic Centre on Saturday by Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony.
Giving brief remarks following the ribbon-cutting, Minister Anthony said the addition of the X-ray machine will complement the two machines already purchased and placed at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) in Georgetown, last year.
“What these machines would help us to do, apart from taking the images of the patients, one of our big challenges was how we store the X-rays after we would have taken them. With the analogue form of X-rays, we had to create huge rooms to keep these X-rays. But now, all of this can be stored on a hard drive, and we can retrieve them when it’s necessary,” he explained.
He also noted that the electronic format of the X-ray images taken by the machine allows the files to be easily shareable with radiologists at the GPHC, so that where necessary, they can be viewed, and diagnoses made.
A viewing station was also established in the hospital’s accident and emergency room.
“Of course, these images can move around quite easily. They are quite portable, and you can send them on your phone so that people can have access to them quite easily. So, I think it’s a good step for this hospital, and we are moving in the right direction,” Minister Anthony expressed.
He also noted that by the end of the year, the Ministry of Health is looking to have 10 similar X-ray machines installed across Guyana.
“This (Siemens) is one of the best X-ray systems, and… it is helping to improve healthcare, so that is why we are making these investments,” he said.
Immediately after the commissioning, 44-year-old Kerry Sauers became the first patient to benefit from the hospital’s new X-ray machine. He explained to the Department of Public Information (DPI) that he had injured himself when a roof caved in and fell onto his back.
“Two days now, I’m troubling with a pain… The ceiling for the house fall down and catch me and pin me, and that’s what made me really come…I couldn’t walk good. Only this morning I end up being able to walk, and I come. When I go in there, the doctor told me it’s better I do an X-ray,” he explained.
He described the process as an easy one.
“It will help, because… more people will get to be x-rayed. When you come, you will not have to wait, because… many people have things and they don’t know it’s what, so it’s a very good thing for the hospital, too,” he shared.
Regional Health Officer (RHO) for Region Four, Dr. Gavinash Persaud, said sufficient work was put into getting the X-ray facilities aptly modified.
“The process to get here has been a long one, and finally we are here. This is part of the expansion in which we are digitalising our records. So, the X-ray is completely functional. It required a lot of infrastructural development… to get it here, and the last thing we did was fine-tune it, so that we receive support from Georgetown Hospital,” he relayed.
Thus far, New Amsterdam, Mibikuri, Port Mourant, Suddie, Linden, West Demerara, Mahaicony, Fort Wellington, Port Kaituma, and Lethem have been earmarked to receive digital X-ray machines.