Health Minister questions competence of regional administration
La Parfaite Harmonie Health Centre\
… to visit the region today
Following an article appearing in the September 6 issue of Guyana Times highlighting the deplorable condition of the La Parfaite Harmonie Health Centre,
Junior Public Health Minister, Dr Karen Cummings said she is seriously questioning the competence of the regional administration in Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara).
In a telephone interview, the Minister said the regional administration budgets for the up-keep of health facilities and questioned the modus operandi of the administration.
“The region have money for cleaning and I am shocked and disgusted that they would allow it to get to this stage… we have systems in place but I would like to believe that those systems are not working,” the Minister said.
“I don’t want to micromanage because we (the Ministry of Public Health) are here as the oversight body and it’s the regions that have to take care of their facilities,” she added.
Minister Cummings said the Public Health Ministry is unaware of the condition of the healthcare facility since the Regional Health Officer (RHO) failed to report it. She added that she is going to pay a visit to the region today and will make special effort to visit the La Parfaite Harmonie Health Centre to speak with nurses and patients at the facility.
“I am disappointed but I will be able to give more information after I visit there tomorrow and see firsthand what the situation is,” she said.
Meanwhile, Medical Superintendent of the Region, Dr Bibi Jabar said she became
aware of the situation after it appeared in Guyana Times, adding that she along with Deputy Regional Executive Officer visited the facility.
“I can tell you that we have visited the health centre and we began some works there,” she said, while refusing to state what work was being executed.
Dr Jabar is currently holding the post of RHO since the acting RHO is on vacation leave and is expected to be back at work by the end of September.
Several calls to the DREO’s office went unanswered. However, a source within the
region said the compound of the health centre is expected to be cleared before the end of the week and the toilet stall is to be repaired ‘shortly’.
When this publication revisited the facility later Wednesday afternoon, it was observed that the bushes on the southern side, beyond the fence were cleared. In addition, the standpipe was repaired with pipes being connected to the building. However, the pile of garbage at the back of the building remained intact and the
washroom stall is yet to be outfitted with a door and water.
Residents and patients accessing services at the La Parfaite Harmonie Health Centre are complaining bitterly about the condition of the washroom facilities, water access and the general bushy compound. In addition, patients are complaining about the level of healthcare they receive, saying the staff at the facility are never on time and when they do arrive to work, they take at least one hour before they begin attending to patients.
When this publication visited the health-care facility on Tuesday, it was observed that the grass in the yard was overgrown, measuring as high as three feet in some areas. The washroom stall has no door, the toilet does not flush and overgrown grass is slowly creeping into the stall.
In addition to a bushy compound, there is garbage at the back of the yard that was poorly disposed of – an attempt to burn the garbage was visible but most of it was not destroyed by the fire. In addition, there are no rubbish bins in the compound of the facility. The water tank and trestle is surrounded by bushy vegetation, with no water flowing through the standpipe in the front of the yard.