Psychiatric Hospital priority for reconstruction – Ramsammy

Kaieteur News
February 11, 2007

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Health Minister, Dr. Leslie Ramsammy, has identified the National Psychiatric Hospital at New Amsterdam , Berbice, as a priority facility for reconstruction.

In a written response to questions posed by People's National Congress Reform-One Guyana (PNCR-1G) Frontbencher, Deborah Backer, Ramsammy noted that the deplorable conditions at the hospital has persisted since 1990.

Backer questioned the provisions being made to improve the deplorable conditions at the psychiatric hospital.

“The Government of Guyana is engaged in mobilising funds for the reconstruction of the hospital,” Ramsammy stated.

He stated that for many years, the hospital was neglected and had become a national disgrace by 1990.

Ramsammy added that in spite of rehabilitation work that was done, other improvements and the construction of several new chalets to house the persons living there, the conditions have remained unacceptable.

He noted that since January, a team has been working to clean, slash and weed around the buildings in order to improve the environmental aspect in the compound.

Ramsammy noted that a contract for the debugging of all of the residential buildings has been concluded and work has started.

He noted that several of the older buildings are being demolished for safety reasons and also in preparation for new construction.

The hospital currently facilitates 155 persons, of whom, 100 have been determined as persons who could live at home.

According to figures supplied by the Health Minister, the hospital is supposed to be manned by a team consisting of one matron and senior deputy head, two junior department sisters, five psychiatric nurses, 18 staff nurses, 30 nursing assistants and 40 nurse aides.

However, under the present conditions, there are 33 nurse aides, 11 nursing assistants, one staff nurse and one psychiatric nurse.

There are no junior department sisters.