Three representatives of Siemens have recently met with Public Health Minister Volda Lawrence to discuss adding Guyana to the 75 different countries in which that company already holds permanent residence.
Promising a “positive future”, the company has said it wishes to accelerate the modernisation plans for the country’s current public health system.
Business Partner Manager at Siemens Healthcare, Roberto Tovar, assured that the company has no intention of opportunistically angling to maximize profits from the financial fortunes of Guyana’s much-anticipated transition to a petro-based economy due to the recent discovery of oil in Guyana.
“Our purpose is to make healthcare providers succeed, (and to) do more with less,” he said during the meeting at the Lot 1, Brickdam, Georgetown headquarters of the MoPH.
Siemens’ CEO of South America (excluding Brazil), Daniel Fernandez, added that, in Colombia, over 300,000 citizens were able to have access to potable water because of the company. Siemens has also worked in the education system to help make Science and Technology more attractive to learners, since these fields of study were deemed unattractive globally.
On this particular issue, Minister within the Public Health Ministry, Dr Karen Cummings,
Suggested that the organisation familiarise itself with the University of Guyana (UG), especially its Natural Sciences Department, to help strengthen the programmes like it had done in Colombia.
Minister Lawrence has explained that the Government wants to “push the leasing and, where appropriate, retrofitting of equipment to improve health sector services”.
Among some of the ambitious plans outlined by Minister Lawrence were construction of large, newly built hospitals in Barima Waini (Region One) and East Berbice/Corentyne (Region Six); and the “leasing of an entire laboratory… to bring (improved) service to our people.”
Lawrence also stated the likely alliance with Siemens would prioritise fighting cancers, cardiovascular ailments, and non-communicable diseases (NCDs); and is part of a wider long-term vision, which includes upgrading systems in the sprawling hinterland. That “is our priority for 2018”, she explained.
While in Guyana, the Siemens team also had discussions with Minister of State, Joseph Harmon; Public Infrastructure Ministers David Patterson and Annette Ferguson, and Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman.