Toshaos called on to collaborate with Regional Health Departments

DPI, Guyana, Monday, July 23, 2018

Director of Regional and Clinical Health Services, Dr. Kay Shako has called on toshaos to work with health departments in their respective regions. According to Dr. Shako, this will foster effective healthcare delivery in these indigenous communities.

More specifically, Dr. Shako said the Ministry of Public Health through its Regional Health Services (RHS) department is ensuring that doctors are stationed at health centres in hinterland communities.

Emphasis has been placed on the region’s provision of accommodation for these doctors and other medical staff deployed. Dr. Shako urged toshaos and other regional leaders to make this aspect of the process easier by ensuring that these staff are provided with a suitable living arrangement. This arrangement is to be agreed upon by the region’s public health department and the Ministry of Public Health.

The gathering at the National Toshaos Council

“Sometimes you wonder why doctors aren’t in a particular area. It could be because of accommodation,” the director explained.

By the end of September, three of four hinterland regions are expected to have its full complement of Government Medical Officers (GMO). In Regions One, Seven, and Nine a total of 42 doctors, have been deployed at various health centres while specialists are attached to the regional hospitals.

Annually, doctors are identified for hinterland regions and are deployed when accommodation and other necessary arrangement are in place. In the absence of doctors, medex continue to be trained and placed in health posts and health centres.

Representatives from the RHS department took the opportunity at the recently concluded National Toshaos Council conference to engage with village leaders.

“Since you are here, we are going to establish a collaboration chain and the region can also take into consideration if we are sending staff then the appropriate accommodation must be in place for them,” Dr. Shako said.

Public health care in all regions is being expanded at the primary level. During the first six months of 2016, 21 medex have been sent to all ten regions.  In rural areas, a medex fills in for a doctor and is capable of diagnosing and treating serious illnesses and authorising referrals among other duties usually delegated to a doctor.

An additional 35 medex will be added to the health sector after a period of training which starts September 2018. This is expected to be a permanent fixture as the ministry is seeking to train at least 35 medex yearly.

By: Delicia Haynes

Images: Keno George