…existing healthcare must be revamped or administrators held accountable – Ali
The sod was on Tuesday turned for a level four, $6.6 billion hospital at Bath Settlement, West Coast Berbice (WCB), with President Dr Irfaan Ali proclaiming that this is just the latest in a series of investments in healthcare being made in regional healthcare.
The new hospital at Bath, which will be built at a cost of $6.6 billion and be completed by next year, is one of six modern regional hospitals the Government plans to build. The other five are in Anna Regina, Region Two; De Kinderen, Region Three; Number 75 Village, Region Six; and one at Diamond and another at Enmore in Region Four.
The hospital in Bath is a level four hospital, which means it should have more comprehensive services and specialised staff on call. During the ceremony to mark the sod-turning for the hospital, President Dr Irfaan Ali spoke of all the investments the Government is making in the region. The President spoke about what these investments mean for the people, on a per-capita basis.
“This singular project and when I say singular project, this project comprises of six different hospitals. This is a complete investment of more than $40 billion, these six hospitals. Since we came into office in 2020, we have spent on roads alone more than $18 billion. That is almost $300,000 for every single resident living in this area. Now you may not see $300,000 in your pocket as a result of that investment. But you have more efficient road system. Your children, the elderly, have better infrastructure.”
“But importantly, your net asset value increases. Because as the infrastructure around you starts to improve, new hospital, new road, treated water and billions of dollars are being invested to ensure every resident in this region will have treated water by 2025. What it does is that it takes up the net value of your property,” President Ali said.
Prior to his visit to the site, the President did a community walk through to listen to the complaints of the residents. In light of several complaints about the Fort Wellington Hospital, President Ali made it clear that improvements must be made or administrators will be held accountable. Present while the President heard these complaints was Regional Health Officer, Dr Desmond Nicholson.
“Imagine the Government is investing and putting so much money… 14 doctors there. But the administrators. They have to be held responsible and I’m being very frank on this,” the President noted.
Advances in the healthcare system in Guyana have been galloping along. Earlier this year, Woodlands Hospital launched its stem cell services and immunotherapy – becoming the first in the country to offer such ground-breaking medical technology to the population. At the time, President Ali had made a commitment that by 2030, Guyana will offer healthcare services that are internationally recognised.
“In the next seven years, we are not trying to, by the grace and help of God, in the next seven years we are building in Guyana, a first world healthcare system for our citizens and a healthcare system that is fit for purpose and one that will provide global healthcare services for the rest of the world. Mark this night. There is no rest in this sector in getting it to where we want to be.”
Moreover, he said as more and more innovations take place in the sector, he called in financial and medical specialists as well as policymakers to start discussions on modern health insurance plans.
He had also announced the forthcoming establishment of a National Medical Scientific Council. This council, President Ali had noted, would bring the country’s best medical talent to investigate “not old technology but the best-in-class medical science development that can be applied in Guyana to help us here.” (G3)