… to be used for UG, GPHC’s medical programmes
…US$17M upgrade for district hospitals – President Ali
…electronic medical records system being explored
The Dr Yesu Persaud Clinical Education Centre was on Saturday declared open by President Irfaan Ali, a new addition in the health sector to serve the needs of the medical education programmes.
Located on the southern side of the Georgetown Public Hospital, Dr Persaud would have committed $215 million for the construction of the building, with the Guyana Government injecting some $30 million. After approval from Government, the crafting of architectural designs, and construction spanning three years, the building was finally completed.
The three-storey structure, measuring 20,000 square feet with a usable roof terrace, will serve the medical programmes of the University of Guyana and Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation. There is adequate space for administrative and faculty offices, classrooms, conference rooms, dry labs and skills training labs.
In January 2015, a release from the centre said that the then Director of the UG School of Medicine, Dr Madan Rambaran, had approached Dr Yesu Persaud to assist in getting a facility to serve the needs of the medical education programmes.
This was as the University of Guyana’s Bachelor of Medicine; Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) programme, established in 1985, and post-graduate clinical education programme,s in 2006, have been growing substantially but never had purpose-built facilities. The need for more and better facilities for these programmes became ever more pressing when the Caribbean Accreditation Authority for Medicine and Health Professions (CAAM-HP) in its 2013 report found the facilities substandard and not meeting the programme and student needs.
In his remarks on Saturday, Dr Rambaran said accomplishing this feat was well sponsored and managed by the Yesu Persaud Foundation.
Responding to commendations on his role in ensuring the dream was realised, Dr Persaud said he was satisfied with the investment. He said throughout his life’s journey, helping persons who can’t help themselves was always critical in his mind.
Meanwhile, President Irfaan Ali highlighted the importance of public-private partnerships in an enabling environment for the further development of the health sector.
“We have to fix primary healthcare and to fix that we have to invest in community healthcare. You will see in the next budget that we are going to create a new programme for research and development at the primary healthcare level,” the Head of State positioned.
He acknowledged that while the human potential of the country is “mind-blowing,” 75 per cent of highly-skilled people are underutilised. There are also inefficiencies in the healthcare systems. These issues, he said, are currently being reviewed by Health Minister, Dr Frank Anthony.
“We have to put that skill to work. We have a primary healthcare problem and we are going to fix it. We want to fix it together with the practitioners… with the university. “I will be the first to admit to you that you deserve more, you deserve better. But also, will be the first to tell you that we are a growing economy. We just had an emergency budget. And your President’s commitment and your Government’s commitment is that you will get more and you will get better. Just give us the time.”
The President used the platform to announce that in partnership with the Indian Government, Guyana’s health sector would soon benefit from an investment of US$17 million. In addition, he said that resources have been set aside for the upgrading of many district hospitals including Lethem, Paramakatoi, Diamond, Leonora and Linden.
The Head of State stressed the importance of public-private partnerships and highlighted Government’s moves such as giving corporate tax breaks on private education, healthcare and health services. This, he said, is only the beginning since there is a need to integrate private healthcare with national healthcare. President Ali stressed on the need to create a level playing field where access to healthcare is not affected by economic barriers. He noted that technology modernisation is paramount. Currently, the Government is in discussion with the Indian High Commission to have an electronic medical records system that chronicles medical data for every citizen from birth to death.
Also sharing his remarks was Minister Anthony, as he hailed Dr Persaud’s efforts in having the new building constructed. He said he was pleased and happy to know that the Institute of Health Science of the University of Guyana will have a new home.
Additionally, Dr Anthony noted that since post-graduate training started at UG and the GPHC, 144 doctors in various specialities have been trained. Another 138 are currently in training. He said the new facility will allow for the expansion of current post-graduate training and provide the institution with better accommodation for simulation labs and other modern teaching aids.
Dr Yesu Persaud is synonymous with business and entrepreneurship. He also has a philanthropic side, with the promotion of education and skills training and through his generosity and charitable work.