Nigerian doctors join medical health team

Kaieteur News
February 5, 2007

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The Government of Guyana and the Government of Nigeria have introduced a new area of co-operation in the area of health services.

This new initiative kicked off mid last year with the arrival of three Nigerian General Medical practitioners.

This effort was initially piloted by the Ministry of Foreign Trade and International Co-operation and the Ministry of Health through its Regional Health Services department.

These three doctors, one of whom is a woman, have been deployed to the Fort Wellington Hospital , the Charity Hospital and the Industry Health Centre.

They are expected to provide services similar to those provided by Guyanese practitioners. They are also expected to be “on call” after 16:30 hours on a rostered basis at the institutions to which they are attached. This means that residents of the respective areas can expect emergency services even after the end of the regular working day.

Last week, an official in the Nigerian High Commission, Mr. Dhankano Kaksjak, who is stationed in Trinidad paid a visit to Guyana to get a first hand impression of the functions of the Nigerian doctors.

Mr. Kaksjak held extensive discussions with the Minister within the Ministry of Health, Dr. Bheri S. Ramsaran, on the functions of the doctors.

Dr. Ramsaran expressed satisfaction with the performance of the Nigerians so far.

Mr. Kaksjak concurred with Dr. Ramsaran that the Nigerian doctors would be expected to provide “on call” services on a rostered basis at their health centres. However, they will be compensated for any “on call” activity at the prevailing rates.

Mr. Kaksjak also concurred with Dr. Ramsaran that the Nigerian doctors will continue to execute medical outreach activities to the poor and needy in areas served by the medical facilities to which they are attached.

Dr. Ramsaran expressed satisfaction with the medical outreach activities that have so far been executed by the Nigerians, especially by the practitioners at the Fort Wellington Hospital in Region Five.

He indicated the intention of the Ministry to intensify medical outreaches in an effort to utilise the services of the Nigerians.

Mr. Kaksjak also expressed his support for the “on call” activities and the medical outreach activities proposed by the Ministry of Health.

The Ministry has already extended its medical outreaches, utilising the services of the 20 Cuban doctors who form the existing medical brigade which started following a three-day official working visit by President Bharrat Jagdeo to Havana , Cuba .

Dr. Ramsaran briefed the Nigerian official on the efforts of the government to improve the health sector.

He alluded to the fact that Guyana enjoys co-operation in the field of health with many other countries such as Cuba , India and China , all of which provide doctors.

He welcomed the co-operation with the Nigerians and expressed the desire to expand this co-operation.

Mr. Kaksjak said that the Nigerian Government would be willing to positively consider any request from the Ministry of Health or from Guyana for an expanded Nigerian presence in the health sector.