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The new addition to the health sector resulted from a commitment by President Bharrat Jagdeo during discussions with the Regional Chairman of Region 10, Mr. Mortimer Mingo, late last year, and provision was made in the region's 2002 budget for the purchase.
The $4.5M ambulance is fully equipped with a stretcher, wheelchair, a heart monitor, an oxygen tank and other equipment, the Government Information Agency (GINA) reported.
The hospital had for more than a year been operating without the services of an ambulance.
The previous vehicle was damaged in an accident and the institution was forced to rely on the use of regular vehicles which severely limited the services offered in emergencies, the agency said.
With this acquisition, the hospital will be in a better position to respond to emergencies and patients can now be comfortably transported from outlying areas and even to Georgetown whenever the need arises.
GINA said the vehicle was handed over by Regional Vice-Chairman, Mrs. Joy Walton to the Chief Executive Officer of the Linden Hospital, Mr. Gordon Gumbs, during a simple ceremony at the Regional Democratic Council building at Linden on Thursday.
Walton said she hoped that the hospital would take good care of the ambulance, that it can serve them well in the future.
Acknowledging the significant input of President Jagdeo she said that the achievement was timely because of the growing population of the bauxite community.
REGIONAL Vice-Chairman Mrs. Joy Walton, with hand outstretched, and others take a closer look at the interior of the ambulance.
Gumbs, who expressed gratitude to President Jagdeo and the RDC, on behalf of the hospital, said they are grateful for the quick response and assured that the vehicle will be properly managed and maintained.
According to GINA, Region 10 was in this year's national budget allocated $97M for capital works of which about $29M was earmarked for the health sector.
Included in the works programme for this year are the completion of a health centre at Kakuni in the Berbice River and the construction of health posts at Wisroc, Gold Hill, Coomaka and Huru Huru.
The region is also to also purchase an ultra-sound machine and an industrial waste machine for the Linden Hospital Complex, GINA reported.
It said that in Region 10, although there is a greater attempt by the Government to improve all sectors, more emphasis has been placed on the health sector.
The policies of the Government focus on human development and enhancing an appropriate quality of life and this is demonstrated in Region 10's health sector, the agency noted.
Data provided by the Bureau of Statistics for the year 2002 has shown that Region 10 has 25 functioning health institutions - 11 health posts, 11 health centres, two district hospitals and one regional hospital.