Package of over 200 services drafted to improve primary healthcare

As part of the Government’s manifesto commitment to provide improved primary healthcare services across the country, the Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Pan-American Health Organisation/World Health Organisation (PAHO/WHO) drafted a package of 0ver 200 essential health services to advance primary healthcare locally.

On Tuesday, Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony, M.P, and PAHO/WHO Representative to Guyana, Dr. Luis Codina, along with other health officials held the first meeting at the Marriott Hotel, to further discuss the package before implementation.

Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony, M.P

Dr. Anthony in brief remarks noted that, “For many years we have been talking about what are the types of services we want to provide under the Ministry of Health and to try to define these services… But in many instances these plans have not been integrated throughout the different layers that we have in the ministry.”

He said it is not just about defining the services, but also putting measures in place to deliver these services at health posts, health centres, and district and regional hospitals.

“We now came up with about 215 different interventions that we think are important for us to deliver at the various levels.”

Dr. Anthony said the meeting was aimed at allowing health directors to verify, validate and tailor these interventions to suit the respective administrative regions.

PAHO/WHO Representative to Guyana, Dr. Luis Codina

He added that, “moving forward this is going to be the tool that we’ll be using as we move forward to deliver these services.”

When the plan is completed, it is expected to address all issues affecting primary healthcare in the various regions, including drug shortages.

Dr. Anthony said President, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali has pointed out that Guyana must have a more “robust” primary healthcare system, ensuring all Guyanese, especially those in farflung and hinterland communities can have better access to health services.

Meanwhile, Dr. Codina said persons must be able to have access to healthcare services when they need it, as such the package will be implemented to address the more pressing issues in Guyana.

Health personnel at the meeting

“How can we go from this excellent document to action and through this path we are working in some other areas simultaneously, first area (is) human resource, it’s very important to discuss… The second thing is to have available equipment, medicines, everything to respond to the needs of the communities,” he noted.

Dr. Codina said PAHO/WHO is working to get essential medicines for the communities. He highlighted that it is important to update and put in place legislation to address health matters.

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