New in-patient section at Georgetown Hospital
by Abigail KIppins
September 16, 2000
THE Georgetown Hospital yesterday commissioned a new In-Patient building as part of its programme to provide a comprehensive range of quality health care services in an efficient, effective, equitable and caring manner.
The hospital is also moving ahead with teaching and research activities designed to ensure excellence in patient care, education and research.
At the opening ceremony, President Bharrat Jadgeo commended the hospital administration for the improvements in the health care system and stressed the need for a focus on primary health care.
This, he said, was needed for people to be able "to effectively function, or transform this country" into a better place to live.
However, he noted that workers would have to be trained in the respective areas for them to effectively deliver primary health care services.
"...we have to train and organise our workers in a different kind of skill...education is also needed which can be done through public awareness programmes...", the President said.
He added that it was important to note the linkages between the quality of water and housing to health care and referred to the US$45M being spent to ensure potable water supply was available to every Guyanese.
Mr Jadgeo further stated that "over the next five years we will be spending another US$60M in improving water supply across Guyana, in the hinterland communities and in Georgetown..."
In terms of housing, efforts were being made to ease overcrowded areas by providing better housing facilities since overcrowding also contributed to the spread of diseases, the President said.
"...housing programmes will supplement the programme of primary health care because people will have better facilities...we are working at that..."
However, he noted that the cooperation of both the public and private sector was needed, adding that the programmes need a public-private sector mix.
Though pleased with most of the health services, Mr Jagdeo said he was not satisfied with services in some areas.
He called on the Ministry of Health to ensure that proper standards were set and that the providers of private health care `patch' their services to ensure that the consuming public gets the value for money.
He also said he was dissatisfied with the way money was spent in many areas and referred to the huge increase in funds to buy drugs annually from $170M to $950M.
Management in the fields of procurement, storage, retrieval and distribution have to cease such problems where drugs are expired in some parts of the country while there are shortages in other parts, he said.
Declaring that such instances must stop, Mr Jagdeo referred to the large sums spent on improving health care in the country and stated that "every cent" allocated towards the improvement of the health sector should be spent effectively.
"My government will continue to help the health sector which is one of five areas of priority amongst education, water, housing and job creation", he pledged.
He said the administration was hard at work to ensure that people's needs were satisfied and that they have a better life.
Health Minister, Dr Henry Jeffrey said the ministry had spent $350M, apart from what is paid for ambulatory care, towards the improvement of the health sector.
He congratulated the Hospital Committee for its efforts towards improving the medical facilities in Guyana and told the gathering that from the 150-60 medical facilities that were previously in Guyana, the figure had grown to some 348, including hospitals and health posts located throughout the country.
Emphasis should be placed on primary health care, he said.
"...it is not my responsibility, nor the ministry, you have to ensure that you live healthy lifestyles, it's your responsibility...", Jeffrey declared but added that when people get sick, the ministry will ensure they get the necessary treatment.
Dr Leslie Ramsammy, Chairman of the Hospital Board, said the institution was extremely guilty of transforming the hospital into a more comfortable environment and referred to the rehabilitation work being done on other parts of the hospital.
He, however, stated that buildings and equipment do not make up a hospital but one should also commend the directors, management and other members of staff who were beginning to get involved since they were the "pride" of the hospital.
He hoped that the Georgetown Hospital "will once again be a place that we take special pride in...(the) Georgetown Hospital is ready to take the leadership role in our health sector", he said.
Referring to the hardships of both the medical staff and the patients, who have been put through "adverse conditions", Harry said the facility was what they dreamed of, was well deserved and will help them to function better.
The hospital plans, over the next five-year period, to remove unnecessary patient volumes; recruit and retain trained and qualified staff; provide adequate physical activities; maintain all equipment and buildings; improve the public image of the hospital; make hospital staff more accountable; implement a Waste Management Programme; improve Data Management and improve and expand clinical education.
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