Following the launch of an Integrated Health Service Delivery Network (IHSDN) initiative in Essequibo Islands-West Demerara (Region Three), a workshop focusing on mending the health gaps in Guyana’s healthcare system was held, with the nurses, medexes, community health workers, doctors and regional health officials of the area.

The three-day exercise held from October 16 -18 was a collaborative effort between the Ministry of Public Health, the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) and the Region Three Administration.

The objectives of the workshop include sensitizing the relevant stakeholders on the importance of IHSDN, in order to: assess the level of integration of health service delivery by utilizing the PAHO IHSDN tool; analyze the challenges of health service fragmentation; assist health personnel to appreciate the need for integrated health services; understand the domains and essential attributes of IHSDN and create a plan of action for developing IHSDN.

Delivering the feature address was Director of Regional Health Services, Dr. Kay Shako who emphasized that the IHSDN is the tool that will bridge the gaps that currently exist within the healthcare system. She opined that this tool will address the deficiencies which exist noting that the healthcare system is fragmented because it is separated into several classes, including primary, secondary and tertiary health care services.

“We must address the fragmentation that currently exists if we are to see an improved health care delivery in our country and adapting to this tool that is now being introduced here in Region Three is the best start. Let me say that the IHSDN will bring everything under one roof so that patients can have holistic health care services. IHSDN allows for everyone to be involved and have an input on how the health care system can provide better services to the people of our country,” Dr. Shako said.

Regional Health Officer, Dr. Johnathan Dudhnath who chaired the proceedings reminded the participants of their duties as health care providers.

“It is our expectation that you provide quality health care services and that is why the Ministry along with its partners are exposing you to the many tools that have proven to be very successful in other countries. No longer should we have health posts and health centres not providing primary health care services but rather with this tool and with what we will learn here today we are guaranteed with the knowledge to provide better health services to our main stakeholders, the people of our community,” said Dr. Dudhnath.

He believes that with this exposure fewer cases will be referred to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) and urged the participants to make the most of the workshop to ensure quality health service is delivered to their patients when they return to their respective health facilities.

 Regional Chairman, Julius Faerber in brief remarks said, “This training and launching is very important for regional development,” and commended the Ministry of Public Health for the initiative. Faerber noted that improving the delivery of health care service is a step in the right direction.

The workshop saw the participation of health workers from the riverine communities, Parika, Leonora Cottage Hospital, and West Demerara Regional Hospital.


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