Guyana, India ink US$17.5M agreement

… regional hospitals to be upgraded

The Government on Wednesday signed a new line of credit with the India’s Government’s Export Import Bank (EXIM Bank) which will see US$17.5 million invested in the rehabilitation and modernisation of three regional health-care facilities. The Suddie, West Demerara and Bartica regional hospitals are all slated to be rehabilitated.
The agreement was signed by Finance Minister Winston Jordan and EXIM Bank’s resident representative, Sailesh Prasad at the Finance Ministry’s, Main Street office.
Indian High Commissioner to Guyana, Venkatachalam Mahalingam, said the inking of the agreement solidifies the Indian Government’s support towards developing Guyana. He added that the EXIM Bank of Indian already relayed the list of companies approved for Project Management Consultancy to the Guyanese Government.
“We have already conveyed the list of companies which can act as project management consultants, which will eventually prepare the detailed project report. One of them will be chosen as the Project Management Consultant and then the project will take off,” he said.
Meanwhile, Minister Jordan said the signing of the agreement solidifies the Indian Government’s commitment towards aiding in the development of Guyana. “Through the signing of this agreement the Government of India would provide financial assistance to assist our Government to upgrade and modernise three regional hospitals in Guyana. Resources will be used to refurbish existing facilities and construct new buildings at the Suddie Regional Hospital in Region Two [Pomeroon-Supenaam], the West Demerara Regional Hospital in Region Three [Essequibo Islands-West Demerara] and the Bartica Regional Hospital in Region Seven [Cuyuni-Mazaruni],” he said.
“Additionally, medical equipment would be procured to furnish the new and renovated facilities. When completed, residents in the immediate and surrounding areas can expect to benefit from improved health-care delivery and services,” Minister Jordan added.
He noted that the provision of quality health care remains the primary objective of his Government and added that an effective public health system is essential in providing care for the sick and for instituting measures that prevent diseases.
He stated that once the upgrade is complete, the burden on the Public Health Ministry’s budget would be eased. He alluded to the effort and resources expended for medical evacuations especially in the hinterland regions.
“Many residents from the outlying regions prefer to seek medical attention at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation believing that the services provided there are superior to those provided by the regional health-care facilities. This intervention is expected to change that perception while allying fears about the quality of the regional health systems and facilities,” he explained.
Also at the signing on Wednesday, Public Health Minister Volda Lawrence, expressed gratitude to the Indian Government while assuring that the monies would aid in the fulfilment of the Ministry’s mandate of delivering quality primary health care in Guyana.
“It is my belief that this is the most important level of health care and it is incumbent on the health sector to interact with our people to ensure that we deliver comprehensive services including prevention, promotion, rehabilitation… it is our intent to ameliorate the services at our health centres and clinics since these facilities play a critical role in a population’s health,” she added.
Bilateral relations with India started in 1966 following Guyana’s Independence.