President Dr Irfaan Ali has promised a modernised health care system in Guyana with upgrades and improvements to hospitals around the country in the coming years.
The Head of State made the disclosure while launching the retrofitting of the Leonora Cottage Hospital in West Coast Demerara, under the Smart Health Care facilities project.
President Ali said that the initiative would have a profound effect on the lives of people. He said that during the pandemic, action is required at both the individual and community levels.
In addressing the health care professionals directly, the Head of State pointed to the importance of accountability. “Government is moving in a direction where you will have to be accountable. Where professionals must be accountable, as far as the financial architecture of our country allows us, we will support the healthcare system, and we will support the professionals.”
He urged those responsible for managing the facility to ensure that it is people-friendly.
The President explained that the government would be investing heavily to improve health care facilities across the country.
“All the hospitals will see upgrades or improvement within the next few years; all facilities will see tremendous transformation.”
President Ali used the opportunity to remind those gathered of the importance of collective adherence to the COVID-19 protocols.
Also present at the launching ceremony were the Minister of Health, Dr Frank Anthony, the British High Commissioner (ag) His Excellency Ray Davidson, PAHO/WHO Representative, Dr Luis Codina, and government and regional health officials.
In his remarks, Minister Anthony said that it was the mandate of President Ali to ensure that better health conditions were created for Guyanese.
“To do that, we need to do several things. We need to improve the infrastructure for health centres or hospitals and every facility in which we are delivering health care.”
Meanwhile, the British High Commissioner (ag) assured of his government’s commitment moving forward.
With an injection of approximately US$4.175M, the Diamond Diagnostic Centre, the Mabaruma Regional Hospital, the Leonora Cottage Hospital, and the Lethem Regional Hospital will be retrofitted as part of the SMART Health Care Facilities in the Caribbean Project. Depending on the availability of funding, the Paramakatoi Health Centre will also be retrofitted.
SMART Health Care Facilities Project, which is being implemented in seven countries across the region, was launched by the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) in collaboration with the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) and the Public Health Ministry in 2018.
The countries expecting to benefit are Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.