Priority areas identified to improve health sector

─As PAHO/WHO and MoPH meet to draft 2020-2021 Biennial work plan

DPI, Guyana, Thursday, September 19, 2019 

Several priority areas in the health sector are being identified that will be addressed over the next two years by policymakers. This comes as the Ministry of Public Health and Pan American Health Organisation/World Health Organisation (PAHO/WHO) Guyana, collaborate to develop a biennial work plan for 2020-2021.

At the consultations, two specific areas outlined by the Minister of Health, Hon. Volda Lawrence is first, the development, implementation and training of human resources for the Guyana Health Information System (GHIS). This will encourage proper digital data management.

Addressing the development and implementation of the GHIS, Minister Lawrence stressed that management of health data throughout the sector has been a challenge and opined that this area must be given much attention since it is a critical component to profiling and effectively treating illnesses among other things.

“I think this year we were able to make a few baby steps and I anticipate that we will be in a better place by the end of this year. This is something we need badly… so much of our information is falling through the crack,” she noted.

The second are pinpointed is the provision of equitable and accessible healthcare to persons residing in the hinterland regions. The Health Minister noted that the ministry’s responsibility is to provide health services for all Guyanese and it must conform to their location, culture and the specific needs in these areas.

“I ask you to get it done… At the end of the day, we are expected to provide equitable coverage and easy access to our health facilities.”

Further, Minister Lawrence said, plans must take into consideration health workers and other staff in the hinterland who are mandated to take the services, such as maternal and child health and immunisation, to the people by way of outreaches and other means.

Among the other areas also identified as priorities, is the timely provision of drugs and medical supplies, standards and technical services for health infrastructure and equipment, the issue of Communicable and Non-Communicable Diseases, improving primary healthcare and mental health.

Minister Lawrence noted that plans made, including budgeting for health service delivery, must be relevant and impactful to address current challenges which exist.

Technical partner to the Public Health Ministry, PAHO/WHO, has committed its continued support in addressing existing gaps and putting systems in place to meet the healthcare needs of the local population. PAHO/WHO Representative, Dr, William Adu-Krow said that there has been much progress since the development of the last biennial work plan, 2018-2019. He said the objective is to ensure the nation benefits.

Various department heads of the Ministry of Public Health including Regional Health Services, Procurement and finance attended the meeting which focused on strategically drafting a collaborative work plan. PAHO/WHO’s technical officers also attended.

This meeting is being held at the Ramada Georgetown Princess Hotel from September 18 to 19, 2019.

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