China delegation makes major donation to health sector
…paves way for high-end surgeries

Kaieteur News
May 19, 2007

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Guyana's National Convention Centre stands today, as a showpiece in the Georgetown landscape. The modernisation and the expansion of the Skeldon Sugar Factory are being completed amidst talk of the contribution of China to the building of new ferry boats in the coming years.

The friendly relationship with China has now led to enhancement of the health sector, allowing Guyanese to obtain certain services for the first time in Guyana.

As at yesterday, the days of patients leaving for foreign shores for major medical surgical procedures are fast coming to an end. Guyana is now equipped to offer eye care surgeries that were not possible before.

These medical capabilities were, yesterday, further strengthened through a Memorandum of Understanding between Guyana and China.

Vice-Governor of Jiangsu Province, China, He Quan, who is leading a goodwill delegation from China, exchanged certificates of agreements with Health Minister Dr Leslie Ramsammy for donations of US$85,000 worth of equipment to offer Laparoscopic, retinal and other surgeries.

The venue was the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC)

“We now have services that we did not have before, and we don't have to leave Guyana anymore. The services are also more affordable to all,” said Minister Ramsammy. Doctors in Guyana, he added, will now be applying techniques and using technology to offer care and services like their colleagues in other countries.

Experts from China also came with the Vice-Governor's team to ensure training of local doctors. Thus, the GPHC is now offering laparoscopic surgery for the first time.

Further, the additional equipment provided for the ophthalmology service would now enable the department to add retinal surgery to its menu of services.

“I am delighted that an interventional cardiologist is part of the team. Importantly, these advancements in technology and techniques mean that Guyana has taken further steps in reducing the gap between us and many of our neighbours as it relates to health,” Dr Ramsammy said.

Minister Ramsammy, further, expressed gratitude to the people and Government of China for what he described as the much-needed donation and hailed the contribution of China to Guyana's development, especially in the health sector.

Prime Minister Samuel Hinds, who was also present at the ceremony, noted that China was once a developing country which has today come a far way.

He noted that this illustrates the results of hard work and commitment and is a good example for Guyana to learn from.

Director of Medical and Professional Services at the GPHC, Dr. Madan Rambaran, said of the donation that the move is significant in Guyana's health care system.

“The Laparoscopic equipment will actually move us closer to being able to offer the highest level of care and standard to be on par with the rest of the world's health care facilities.”

Speaking of the retinal capabilities enhancement, Dr Rambaran said, “We used to only do things to the front of the eye, but now we can go to the back to do more complex surgeries through this high-end technology, which makes things much better in Guyana.”

Meanwhile, Guyana and China yesterday sealed an agreement that will see the Chinese Government constructing a housing facility at East Street, Georgetown to accommodate the Chinese Medical Brigades who work here.

Minister Ramsammy and Vice- Governor Quan yesterday affixed their signatures to the Memorandum of Understanding to effect the agreement.

The Vice-Governor and the Minister turned the sod at the old Doctors' Quarters at 304-305 East Street, clearing the way for the construction of the building, which is expected to begin within a month. The land was provided by the Guyana Government while the Chinese Government will fund the construction.

Minister Ramsammy said that the construction of such an edifice would further concretise the two countries' relationship, which has borne many tangible results over the years.

“We are aware of the improving conditions in China, and the improved standard of living of medical personnel in China and in such provinces as Jiangshu Province.

“We would continue to strive to provide the members of the Chinese Medical Team with improved conditions as they serve our people in Guyana.”

Guyana and China have cooperated on many levels, particularly the health sector. Medical teams first started coming to Guyana in 1993. So far, seven teams have had two-year stints in the country and have helped to improve the level of care delivered to Guyanese, as well as expand the menu of services.