Public Health Budget: $35.9B for 2019

─ $7.8B for procurement of drugs, medical supplies

─ $3.2B for construction, rehabilitation and maintenance of health infrastructure

─Allowances for health workers

─New A&E unit for GPHC

DPI, Guyana, Monday, November 26, 2018

Eleven-point nine (11.9) percent of the 2019 National budget has been set aside for the delivery of adequate and efficient healthcare to improve the quality of life of all Guyanese. The 2019 allocation is $2.6Billion more than the previous allocation in 2018.

Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan, during the 2019 National Budget presentation

With this budget, in 2019 among other things, the Ministry of Public Health intends to:

  1. Strengthen procurement planning and ensure cost-effective purchases of drugs
  2. Increase taxes and duties on cigarettes, thereby discouraging their use.
  3. Construct two new maternity waiting homes in Moruca and Long Creek, and refurbish the existing one at Lethem.
  4. Provide capacity building for the staff of the MCH Unit and procure related equipment.
  5. Allocate $1.6 billion for family health care services, in 2019.
  6. continue public awareness, surveillance and follow up programmes in infectious diseases.
  7. Complete the construction of the Kingston bond and to upgrade the bond in Diamond
  8. Commence construction of a new laboratory for the Food and Drug Analyst Department.
  9. Complete and operationalise the Port Kaituma Hospital Complex
  10. Construct living quarters for medical staff in key areas such as Kamarang, Kaikan, Lethem, Wiruni, Mabaruma, Leguan and Mabura.
  11. Implement payment of allowances for health workers.

Also, in 2019, the government is prepared to make a significant improvement to the national referral hospital – Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation. This will see the construction of a new accident and emergency facility. Essentially, the goal is to build a modern, state-of-the-art trauma centre that will allow better management of emergency cases, including addressing patient flow, isolation and capacity.

Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan in his budget presentation outlined that “if we are to empower our people and build sustainable communities, it must be on the foundation of a healthy population. We will continue to invest resources in the health sector to ensure that the public healthcare system is maintained and upgraded.”

Delicia Haynes

Image: Department of Public Information

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