Sod turned for $881M modern training facility for Nurses in Region Two
The sod was turned for a modern training facility for nurses and nursing students which will be established at Suddie on the Essequibo Coast, Region Two to the tune of $881 million dollars.
Minister of Health Dr Frank Anthony, Minister within the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development Anand Persaud, a team of senior medical personnel and regional officials on Friday were present at the construction site for the symbolic activity.
The contract was awarded to Mr. Roopan Ramotar and is expected to be completed in 18 months.
Minister Anthony, while delivering remarks at the ceremony noted that this is a historic moment and is part of the government’s drive to transform the landscape of the local health sector and create a world class healthcare system.
“The Government of Guyana [and] the president is extremely pleased to situate this nursing school here because we know that it is going to be a game changer…We’re spending here $881 million to build this school so that you can have a modern training facility in Essequibo”, the minister said.
He urged the nurses and students to make good use of the facility which would be completed next year.
“So, we know that we’ll be working very closely with the contractor and he’s going to work to make sure that this is finished in time so that we can do the kinds of training that is necessary…so that we can have more and more qualified people in our healthcare system,” Dr Anthony stated.
With the construction of six new modern regional hospitals, a specialist Maternal and Pediatric hospital along with major upgrades to existing facilities the country needs more nurses and health care professionals.
Dr Anthony stated that the ministry has been coming up with new innovative ways of training persons on a larger scale including through a hybrid training programme that will train up to 12 hundred nurses in a three-year programme.
He also highlighted challenges in training persons centrally as it is not possible to train everyone in Georgetown and there is difficulty getting trained persons to return to the regions to serve, hence the need to decentralize the nurses training programme.
“We have changed that. So, what the training division is now doing is decentralizing the programs so that training can happen in every region of the country and that is quite important in your region. We have seen the training of pharmacy assistants. We have trained community health workers. We have trained nursing assistants and we are going to continue doing a number of trainings” the Minister said.
He continued that “Right now as I speak to you, we have 92 persons enrolled in various programs in this region and very soon they’ll be graduating and once we train someone and they pass their exams. We in the Ministry of Health, in the government of Guyana, we have a job for you so we train you and we employ you,” he stated.
Minister Anthony noted that the establishment of the facility in region is historical.
“When you build a school, it’s not being built for something today alone. It is the people who would come through that school and graduate and who would carry on the legacy that is what we’re building, we’re nurturing minds and those minds are the ones who are going to provide the care that people need not just in this region but even for the field,” Dr Anthony noted.
Dr Anthony is optimistic that the nurses trained in the region will excel in their studies as the region produces students who excel at CXC exams not only in Guyana but also tops the Caribbean region.
“We want to see that happen for nursing and this school this school would provide those opportunities,” Dr Anthony stated.
The Project was also endorsed by Minister Persaud who urged those who will be trained at the facility to remain in Guyana to serve.
“If they want to pursue the nursing profession the opportunity is here the opportunity is right here in Region Two in Essequibo, and they must cherish after they would have qualified or graduated the input that this government …would have invested in them we can’t tell them to stay,” he stated.
There are only currently three existing nursing schools in Guyana, located in Linden, New Amsterdam and Georgetown.