The Maternity Unit of the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) is expecting a revamp of the facilities and capacity, with an injection of $50 million to conduct much-needed works.
Funded by the Guyana Lottery Company under the Canadian Bank Note, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed on Monday. The project features an increase in bed capacity by 27 per cent and a 40 per cent total space capacity.
The construction works are pegged at some $31 million, while $19 million will be used to procure pertinent medical equipment.
Chief Executive Officer of GPHC, George Lewis emphasised the importance of this initiative to reduce overcrowding at the facility. In 2017, there was a total of 8324 admissions to the maternity wing with 5515 deliveries. In 2018, some 8277 admissions were recorded with 5547 deliveries.
“Quick mathematics would suggest that we deliver approximately 16 babies per day within the Georgetown Public Hospital. Because of the high amount of admissions and deliveries, we are constantly challenged to find in-patient beds, particularly between the periods of September to February when there are more deliveries,” Lewis said.
Over the years, the maternity wing was modified to facilitate a few more beds, but this is always outnumbered by expectant mothers. Additionally, there are no rooms should patients require isolated treatment.
“To address this situation, the Corporation included in its 2019 budget, additional extension works. The first extension was in 2016. While it provided for critical care services such as the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, the expansion did not alleviate the issues of overcrowding. In both the prenatal and postnatal wards, there are about 75 beds. Currently, there are no facilities for the isolation of patients who require special needs and attention,” the CEO explained.
Meanwhile, Public Health Minister, Volda Lawrence posited that the services offered by the maternity wing will be improved. Negative statistics are also expected to be lowered. However, many attempts at lowering these statistics have proven futile in the past.
From the Canadian Bank Note, Managing Director Tracey Lewis informed that her agency will continue to manage the facility upon completion.
“The Guyana Lottery Company would also like to commit to the general maintenance of this facility, as we know that this will become an important factor after the works are completed…This expansion will enhance and complement the existing maternity services and provide additional accommodation, private rooms, office space and specialist services,” she noted.
The GPHC is Guyana’s main referral medical institution.