Tapping into Human Resource potential in hinterland
– considered the Health Ministry’s biggest accomplishment for 2019
DPI, Guyana, Tuesday, November 12, 2019
The Ministry of Public Health has accomplished much in the hinterland areas for 2019. In its robust initiative to narrow the health care gap between the hinterland and coastland, more emphasis was placed on training personnel for the health sector.
During an appearance on National Communications Network (NCN) radio programme ‘INSIGHT’, Minister of Public Health, Hon. Volda Lawrence expressed satisfaction at her ministry’s efforts to qualify young men and women in the sector.
“The year has been an excellent one for the Ministry of Public Health, we have been able to do things outside of the box… We have been able to promote many persons in the sector, opening doors for many persons from the hinterland, especially young people,” she noted.
According to the health minister, one of the more significant steps was the wavering of qualification requirements for hinterland applicants to health-related studies done locally through the ministry. She explained that a policy has been adjusted to ensure those who are interested in joining the health profession are not denied the opportunity to give back to their communities.
“I am so excited about the fact that we were able to adjust the requirements at the Nursing Council for those persons coming from the hinterland. And the council has also written off financial obligations for these persons,” she remarked.
It was highlighted that this will reduce the need to deploy coast-landers to work in the interior regions continually.
Also, healthcare staff from hinterland villages will be able to deal directly with issues at the community level, given their familiarity with the people and culture.
“With all of this, I can see health in the hinterland, developing to the stage where we don’t have to medivac persons anymore, and for me, that would be the biggest gain for Guyana, that our people in the hinterland can have uninhibited access to health,” the minister added.
The training of Community Health Workers in the hinterland began since 2017-2018, specifically, in Regions 1 and 9. Recently, the ministry reintroduced programmes in five allied health professions. From the intake of 147 students, four of these were drawn from the four hinterland regions.
Other staff in the hinterland have been encouraged to upgrade their careers. Those who are CHWs can study to become medex or nurses, while nurses can upgrade to midwifery and even study to obtain degrees in Nursing. They can also specialise in different fields.