Nation’s interest paramount when drafting budgets

– “Embrace the ministry’s vision, take ownership in your region” – Min. Lawrence urges regional health officials

─ Public Health Ministry continuing efforts to improve healthcare budget

DPI, Guyana, Saturday, July 13, 2019

To ensure that the best quality of health care is delivered in across the country, the Ministry of Public Health is assisting regions in identifying areas in health which needs a developmental boost.

Senior officials of the Ministry of Public Health led by Minister of Public Health, Hon. Volda Lawrence met with Regional Democratic Council  (RDC) officials of Region Ten (Upper Demerara-Berbice), to focus on critical aspects of healthcare needed in the region.

Minister Lawrence told the Region 10 officials that she expects them to take ownership of the health sector rather than just viewing as another programme in the budget.

She emphasised that there are issues that need to be addressed but some require adequate finances. Moreover, it was highlighted that residents must be able to testify of the impact of each health project that has been developed and executed in the region.

“Each region is unique, so we want to ensure that whatever we are asking for from the government’s coffers is that which will help us to meet our objectives… we need you to embrace the Ministry of Public Health’s vision and take ownership in your region since you are the closest authority to the residents within your region,” the minister explained.

The meeting was facilitated to ensure budgets for the region’s health sector are drafted with the best interests of the people access the services.

The officials at the meeting included the Regional Executive Officer, Orrin Gordon, Deputy Regional Executive Officer Maylene Stephens, Regional Chairman Renis Morian, Vice Chairman Elroy Adolph and Regional Health Officer, Dr. Pansy Armstrong.

REO Gordon explained there has been progress in the region citing one particular health institution in the region. “For the last three or four years, if you go back into the records, you’ll see there have been deliberate interventions made in terms of returning the Upper Demerara Hospital (better known as the Wismar hospital) to what it used to be… For several years, there was a stigma attached to the hospital but now you see it is being restored.”

He added that this is just the beginning, and a lot more is still achievable. Gordon said this approach will apply for other health facilities in the region as confidence in the region’s health sector is restored.

Issues coming out in the meeting pointed to human resources and acquisition of transportation for emergency cases among other issues. These are to be remedied with technical support from the central ministry and the proper execution of initiatives by the RDC.

The team from the Ministry of Public Health, included Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Karen Gordon, Regional and Clinical Service Director, Dr. Kay Shako along with other senior staff of the and a representative of the Ministry of Communities.

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