Reg. 5 taken on board IHSDN platform

─Focus on strengthening the primary health care services countrywide

─All health sector services to be integrated

─Electronic Health Records will create linkages between all health facilities

DPI, Guyana, Saturday, March 30, 2019

Following the announcement that the Ministry of Public Health will be piloting the Integrated Health Services Delivery Network (IHSDN) in four regions, a three-day training and awareness session was held in Region Five from March 27-29.

The sensitisation exercise is being done in collaboration with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) who are supporting the establishment of the IHSDN in the health sector in Guyana in an effort to modernise the delivery of primary level health care.

According to the Pan American Health Organisation World Health Organisation (PAHO/WHO), IHSDN can be defined as ‘a network of organisations’ that provides, or make arrangements to provide, equitable, comprehensive, integrated, and continuous health services to a defined population and is willing to be held accountable for its clinical and economic outcomes and the health status of the population served.

The resource persons at the opening session were Hinterland Coordinator Regional Health Services of the MOPH, Michael Gouveia, National Consultant Health Systems and Services of PAHO/WHO Guyana, Ulex Fung and Senior General Medical Officer, Region 4, Dr. Vanessa Singh. The team was welcomed by the Deputy Regional Executive Officer Sherwyn Wellington and Regional Health Officer (RHO) Dr. Desmond Nicholson. Participating in the workshop were health care providers, educators and other members of civil society in Region 5, Mahaica-Berbice.

According to Gouveia, the objective of the awareness session was to sensitise the participants on the initiative. “An IHSDN will help dismantle the organisation silos within the health and health care related sectors and lead to the rational use of resources and a more holistic and effective delivery of services to people particularly at the primary health care level,” Gouveia said.

Gouveia noted that a computerised Health Information System or Electronic Health Records is an integral part of the IHSDN and will ensure that there is a linkage between all the health facilities countrywide.

Citing an example he said “If a patient went to the Georgetown  Hospital and would have received care for some illness and they returned to the community, we want to ensure within this integrated system that the information which would have been generated from the tests and everything else and that caused  this person being treated in a certain way returns to the community and is accessible to the people in the Primary Health Care system in that community so that they can follow up in continuation of care.”.

Gouveia also described the training as an assessment exercise. “The participants will be asked questions posed in a tool developed by PAHO /WHO and based on their answers, this tool is going to provide us with a score as to the level of development of this integrated system in Region 5 at the end of this three-day session.

“The information from that tool will be used to prepare a work programme that will be relevant to this region.

“We are then going to move to the next stage which is to ensure that our plans going forward, budget and everything else is focused in such a way that it caters for the changes that will have to be made; so that it can facilitate the promotion of the integrated system in this Region,” he said.

He added that PAHO/ WHO will be looking at the specific plan coming out of Region 5 and will be providing some technical and financial support in helping the IHSDN in Region 5 and nationally to progress to implementation.”

The IHSDN initiative has been taken to eight Administrative Regions.

To date, the only area not yet visited was Region 8, Potaro/Siparuni which will be visited and taken on board in April, Gouveia said.

Story and Images: Clifford Stanley

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