`Government committed to bringing health to people’
Guyana Chronicle
March 24, 2002

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PRESIDENT Bharrat Jagdeo on Friday commissioned the first ever Poly-Clinic at Enmore on the East Coast Demerara, saying that his Government is committed to the delivery of efficient health care to its people and will adopt policies geared to meet their needs.

Opening the $28 million clinic, President Jagdeo said while Government has recognised that the expectations of the people are high, his administration is unable to meet all of them and as a result will explore ways to maximise its limited resources to make access to primary health care easier for Guyanese.

“We are still a developing country, heavily burdened by debt, which still makes up a substantial amount of our resources. We are also in a very difficult environment, in which many of the traditional systems are changing, and, because of this, we have to find ways to do things to fulfill the many needs of our people with very limited resources,” the Government Information Agency (GINA) quoted the President as saying.

“This often forces us to adopt policies, or think of the adoption of policies to make ventures like this (the polyclinic) happen,” GINA reported the President as saying.

“People complain about a $1000 or $2000 movement in the income tax threshold, and at the same time, lose sight of the billions of dollars that Government is spending on health care, education, housing and water, because, somehow, they see those things as different from having a good standard of living. But they are all inter-related,” the President stressed.

He emphasised that “it’s not just the salaries that you take home every month. If your children are not healthy and educated, or if you do not have homes to live in or have access to water, then you would not have a good standard of living”.

The President said that while Government will provide specialised health care to its people, the thrust of the sector is primary health care.

GINA said that $25 billion was allocated in this year’s national budget for education and health care.