Berbice records improved health care in 2006

Kaieteur News
January 19, 2007

Related Links: Articles on Berbice
Letters Menu Archival Menu

Minister of Health Dr. Leslie Ramsammy has noted that 2006 has been a productive year for the Region in terms of health but noted that there has been some flaws.

His comments came during a recent visit to Berbice when he met with several regional officials to highlight performances in the health sector for the past year.

He spoke of monies being demanded by doctors of health institutions within the Region for services which should have been provided free of cost.

This behaviour, the Minister said, is illegal in Guyana and is not tolerated by his Ministry. However, he said that on most occasions the victims are reluctant to provide the evidence and thus the ministry is unable to discipline the law- breakers.

He recalled instances where persons were taken to Court but the charges were dismissed because of lack of evidence. He said that this pattern of behaviour could be curbed once there is co-operation.

In Region Six, there are three secondary health institutions — the New Amsterdam Hospital which is currently functioning effectively, the Port Mourant Hospital which is under construction, and the Mibicuri Hospital which is currently being expanded.

Two other health institutions in the Region, the Skeldon Hospital and the National Psychiatric Hospital , are soon to be reconstructed.

Speaking on the issue of maternal deaths, Minister Ramsammy noted that for last year, some 1,600 babies were delivered in the Region and no maternal deaths were recorded. This compared favourably with previous years when the Region had the highest maternal deaths on record.

“Last year women died whilst pregnant, but they didn't die in Region Six,” said the Minister. Three Berbice women died at the Georgetown Public Hospital , having experienced difficulties in Berbice.

This, he said, shows that the Berbice health institutions still have a distance to go. “Maternal deaths are preventable.”

The Minister said most times patients die as a result of the doctor attending to the patient late, or patients not being enrolled in the high-risk clinic as they should. He described these as flaws in the system.

Dr. Ramsammy, commenting on other achievements, said that some 3,000 successful surgeries were performed in the Region in 2006, whilst almost all of the children in Region Six have been immunized.

“They are not at risk for mumps, measles, rubella, polio and small pox.” He also noted that heart surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation therapy are services that are all being offered in Guyana . This, he said, is an achievement since Guyana is a poor country that is providing these services free of cost.

Region Six will be the only Region in Guyana to have all five levels of health care and of three national referral centres, Berbice will be the host of two, he said.