In an effort to effectively manage cancer patients in Guyana as well as ensure early detection, the Ministry of Health is aiming to implement a telepathology programme at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) within the next three months.
According to the Department of Public Information (DPI), the ministry is working along with the Mount Sinai Health System to develop this programme.
Telepathology uses telecommunications technology to facilitate the transfer of image-rich pathology data between distant locations for diagnosis, education, and research.
Minister of Health, Dr Frank Anthony made the announcement Friday last, while outlining initiatives being undertaken by the government to address the issue of non-communicable diseases.
“Right now, the turnaround time for pathology slides was probably three months and that’s looking at the most optimistic scenario in the public sector. We have to change that,”he stated. When implemented, the programme will reduce the time for patients to be diagnosed from months to days.
“Instead of waiting three months for somebody to read a slide, we can probably get back the results in seven days and that would make a tremendous difference to that patient and the outcome,” Dr Anthony explained.
Similarly, the ministry is collaborating with Mount Sinai to establish an oncology centre to treat all cancer patients in Guyana.
Guyana Standard understands that three additional mammogram machines will be procured before year-end to expand the capacity for early detection of breast cancer. The machines will be installed at various healthcare facilities across the country, as the administration continues to implement preventative steps to lower the incidence of cancer locally.