PHG 'twinned' with Parimaribo hospital

by Gwen Evelyn
Guyana Chronicle
November 1, 1999

THE Academic Hospital of Parimaribo has been `twinned' with the Public Hospital Georgetown (PHG) with the aim of improving the local institution.

Part of the twinning programme will cater for University of Guyana medical students pursuing post-graduate training abroad.

Dr. Hughley Hanoman of the Guyana Medical Council said at a press conference yesterday that this is a "golden opportunity" for the local students who have to write examinations before entering foreign universities.

He thinks the local university is pursuing a high standard of graduands now.

Dr. Carl Hanoman, also of the Guyana Medical Council, said that the students will be given `hands-on' training and will return to Guyana ready to work.

He thinks it will an asset for Guyanese to be trained at the Academic Hospital in Suriname.

Before training starts, however, work must be done on the critical requirements of training, considering Guyana's needs.

According to Dr. Frank Beckles, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to formalise the twinning arrangement is to be signed.

Dr Beckles, who was part of the Guyana Medical Council delegation that visited the Suriname hospital three weeks ago, said an agreement has been reached for a technical team from Suriname to arrive here in one month's time.

This team will help with the installation of a coronary care unit at the Georgetown Hospital and also provide training to PHG staff.

A pathologist of the Academic Hospital has also agreed to resume lecturing, examining and training for cytophathology and histopatahology technicians.

Dr. Beckles said that the Suriname team will explore avenues for technical and other support from amongst its international network.

On Wednesday last, a Surinamese team led by Director of the Suriname Hospital, Dr. Rabindre Parmessar and including Drs. Glenn Oehlers and Suraj Panday, began arriving in Guyana.

The team met and held discussions with President Bharrat Jagdeo, Health Minister, Dr. Henry Jeffrey and officials of the Georgetown Hospital's Board of Management. Members of the team said support has been pledged at the government level.

While here, the Surinamese experts also toured the Georgetown Hospital, Beckles said.

Dr. Hughley Hanoman is of the view that many benefits can accrue to Guyana from the partnership.

Hanoman pointed out that both Suriname and Guyana have similar problems and these extend into the health system as well.

Referring to the post-graduate programme, Hanoman said that medical students of the University of Guyana will be able to study at the Academic Hospital without writing an examination.

Dr. Hanoman added that the standard of health care here will be much higher and more cost effective with the partnership.

Dr. Parmessar predicted that health care will become more expensive and it is critical that health systems become effective and efficient particularly in countries like Guyana and Suriname where many poor people live.

One challenge of Third World countries is equipment maintenance, he said. And the other is that spare parts are not easily available.

These are two areas which must be addressed, he said.

Dr Parmessar went on to note that sustainable development in the health sector will not be possible if local people are not actively involved and trained.

He urged the Guyana group to seek ways to allow such participation.

"Let your people participate as much as possible," he advised.

Part of the Georgetown Hospital's improvement plan is the upgrading of the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and this should take effect in a few weeks, Dr. Oehlers said.

Chairman of the PHG board, Dr. Leslie Ramsammy expressed the hope that solutions can be tailored to Guyana's special circumstances.

Further arrangements will be made when a Guyana team visits Parimaribo next week.

Dr. Parmessar added that the big transformation being undertaken by the PHG management will require the support of everyone.

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