Unveiling of Smart Healthcare facilities project billboard

GEORGETOWN, MOPH – Public Health Minister Volda Lawrence and Dr William Adu-Krow, PAHO/WHO Representative in Guyana, Monday made a pitch for local media to help popularise the SMART Hospital initiative currently being undertaken in the country.

Lawrence and Adu-Krow made the appeal during Monday’s unveiling of a billboard in the Diamond Diagnostic Centre, on the East Bank Demerara corridor, advertising the some £38M health infrastructure project.

Under the compact brokered with the British Department for International Development (DFID) with (PAHO/WHO) acting as the executing agency, five public health institutions, viz the Diamond Diagnostic Centre, Demerara/Mahaica (Region Four); Leonora Cottage Hospital, Region Three (Essequibo Islands/West Demerara); Lethem Regional Hospital, Upper Takutu/Upper Essequibo); Mabaruma District Hospital, Barima/Waini (Region One) and Paramakatoi Health Centre, Potaro/Siparuni (Region Eight)  will be redesigned and retrofitted to conform to the SMART blueprint.

“The Smart Hospital Initiative seeks to link structural and operational safety and disaster resilience with resources, reducing interventions at a reasonable cost- benefit ratio, and reduces green house gas (GHG) emission,” Dr Adu-Krow explained during Monday’s unveiling.

The project is said to result in enhanced safety standards; a reduction in downtime and damaged hospitals from natural hazards, as well as a reduction in water and electricity consumption, the PAHO/WHO official told the audience.

A document circulated at the unveiling explained that 30 healthcare workers were trained to apply the SMART Hospital protocol which includes the hospital safety index and a green checklist standard.

When she spoke, Public Health Minister, Volda Lawrence noted that east Bank residents will benefit greatly from the ‘Smart Standards’, of the Diagnostic Centre since it is strategically located on the busy carriageway which facilitates especially passengers travelling from the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA).

“We view the Diamond Diagnostic Centre as a pivotal element within the whole health spectrum, and this initiative will certainly provide care at a higher level for those persons who would want to use the services,” Lawrence said.

She explained that much work is being administered into the human resources to provide specialist doctors with the necessary tools, space and accommodation to ensure patients receive “the best services that they can”.

Two years ago, Guyana embarked on the SMART hospitals programme which includes retrofitting existing identified health structures making them resilient to the vagaries of nature including natural disasters.

SMART Hospitals are increasingly viewed at being at the intersection of medicine, information, health, and business using information, communication and technology (ICT) to support healthcare programmes.

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