Sod turned for US$4.9M UG’s College of Medical Sciences

Ministers Priya Manickchand and Frank Anthony joined officials of UG and other stakeholders to turn the sod for the new College of Medical Sciences building

The sod was turned on Friday for a new building to house the University of Guyana’s College of Medical Sciences, a facility which will open spaces for more students to be admitted into the institution’s medical programmes every year.
The new structure to the tune of US$4.9M will be constructed through funding from the World Bank and the Guyana Government. Spanning two floors, the concrete building will sport a 200-seat theatre, fully-furnished labs, classrooms, anatomy rooms and research facilities.
Vice Chancellor of UG, Professor Paloma Mohamed-Martin noted her satisfaction that the project will commence after a long consultative and redesigning process. She highlighted that many eligible students are turned down due to space constraints – a bugbear which will now be remedied.
Mohamed-Martin outlined, “Every single year, we have in this University applying to our over 15 medical programmes, many more students than we can actually accommodate. We tell students in this country coming through the education system, work hard and do well and we will find a place for you to what you want to do.”
She added, “It’s always heartbreaking to have to turn away large numbers of students who are eligible but we don’t have the space. This building is going to solve one of those problems and we are really thankful for that.”
Being the only accredited medical school in the country, the Vice Chancellor expressed that such modernised and equipped facilities will assist in maintaining this accreditation.
In her remarks, Education Minister Priya Manickchand related that apart from a sound secondary education, students should be able to pursue their studies in the sciences thereafter. She regarded the project as ‘hope’ for many children and communities.
“If we are able to put more children into secondary schools as well as retain more children in secondary schools, if we are able to attract more children in the sciences, then what happens to them post-secondary? So, this is very timely. There is a lot of talk about investment and interest in our country, in fancy and specialty hospitals…So, any kind of expansion that has our children benefitting from educational opportunities that could see a logical end to their interest in science in high school would be beneficial to Guyana,” the Minister reasoned.
Health Minister, Dr Frank Anthony zeroed in on the massive expansion of the health sector with specialty and regional hospitals, thereby creating a need for more health professionals.
A specialised €149 million Paediatric and Maternal Hospital at Goedverwagting, East Coast Demerara (ECD), is earmarked for completion by 2025. Six new regional hospitals are also being constructed. They will be located at Anna Regina, Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam); De Kinderen, Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara); Bath, Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice); Number 75 Village, Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne); and one at Diamond and another at Enmore in Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica).
This is in addition to new hospitals at Moruca in Region One (Barima-Waini), New Amsterdam in Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne); Bartica and Kamarang in Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni), Kato in Region Eight (Potaro-Siparuni) and Lethem, Region Nine (Upper Demerara-Berbice).
“If you think about how we have been constructing hospitals in this country, this is really an unprecedented level of construction. And if we’re going to staff these adequately, we really need persons to be trained very quickly so that we can bring them into the system…We would need people to serve in these facilities. Getting qualified health workers has been a challenge. Nursing is a particular area,” the Health Minister disclosed.