Eighth Chinese medical brigade welcomed
- Interventional cardiologist in batch
In an effort to advance the level and quality of health care, Guyana over the past 14 years has benefited from the expertise of seven medical teams which have made significant contributions to the local health sector.
On Thursday evening at the Cheddi Jagan Research Centre, a ceremony of farewell and welcome was held for the outgoing and newly arrived Chinese medical teams.
The eighth batch of medical personnel consists of an anesthetist, general surgeon, pathologist, radiologist, gynaecologist and an interventional cardiologist.
The introduction of the interventional cardiologist in this batch is in fulfillment of a request made last year by the Minister of Health, Dr. Leslie Ramsammy.
He said it is the first time in the country’s history that Guyana’s medical profession will benefit from the services of an interventional cardiologist working over a long period.
“This will add to the effectiveness of the country’s cardiac services,” Minister Ramsammy said.
The Health Minister was pleased that the medical teams continue to comprise gynaecologists since only four years are left to fulfill the Millennium Development Goals, and maternal and infant mortality remains a major priority.
The outgoing batch of Chinese medical personnel who served at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) and Linden Hospital Complex consisted of 14 doctors including an ophthalmologist, an orthopedic surgeon, a plastic surgeon and pathologists.
During their two-year stay they collectively made a significant contribution to the country’s health sector. The team has treated more than 45,000 patients and conducted more than 4,500 surgeries in ophthalmology, orthopedics, general surgery, gynaecology, and plastic surgery. In particular, 7,400 cataract surgeries were done.
During the past two years there has also been the introduction of a number of new services including laparoscopy surgery and phaco emulsification surgery for cataract.
The Chinese team has also shared their knowledge with local staff and provided training to them to conduct laparoscopy surgery.
Additionally, several donations were made to the GPHC. On October 11, 2006 the ophthalmology department received modern equipment donated by the Chinese government valued at US $85,000 which serves for laparoscopic, retinal and other surgeries.
There was also a donation made of US$305,000 to construct an apartment complex at East and Church Streets to accommodate future Chinese medical teams, which will have a recreational facility and will serve to make the team’s stay more comfortable. This facility is expected to be completed in ten months’ time.
Head of the outgoing batch, Ophthalmologist Dr Chun He Shi, said though there were a few challenges during the team’s stay, through assistance from the Ministry of Health “We have been working hard to provide the best medical care to a large number of patients.”
On March 26, 1993, the Protocol concerning the dispatch of a Chinese medical team to work in Guyana was signed between the Government of the People’s Republic of China and the Government of Guyana.
At the ceremony, members of the outgoing medical team were presented with plaques, medals and tokens of appreciation for their services to Guyana.