Several Berbice public doctors sent home charging patients service fee – Armogan
“There are some people whom we have had to ‘treat with’ some time ago and treat with seriously, because somehow they felt that the salary was not enough and therefore, they decided to do other things that would increase their salaries and we couldn’t tolerate that.”—Reg. Six Chairman
Several doctors working at various health facilities in Berbice have had their contracts terminated for charging patients for services. This revelation was made by Region Six Chairman, David Armogan recently, during an address to a new batch of doctors back from studies in Cuba.
He stated that some doctors in Berbice had to be disciplined while some were even sent back overseas after they were found to be charging patients for services at public hospitals.
He chastised doctors “who want to do the ‘side thing’.”
“There are some people whom we have had to ‘treat with’ some time ago and treat with seriously, because somehow they felt that the salary was not enough and therefore, they decided to do other things that would increase their salaries, and we couldn’t tolerate that.”
All services at public healthcare facilities in Guyana are free of cost.
Armogan, who is also a top member of the Berbice Regional Health Authority (BRHA), announced that patient surveys will be out soon so that medical health care officials in the Ancient County can be evaluated on their conduct and performances at the various medical facilities.
Armogan stated that it is very important to “hear what patients are saying about you, and when you look at some of these surveys, sometimes patients do not speak too well about some of our doctors, and nurses too, because some of our nurses also create problems for us because of the way they treat our people.”
“This is what happens sometimes in our system. The patient shouts and we shout back three times! And we get a confrontation. Sometimes, instead of looking after the patient, we beat up the patient! We have seen this!”
The Chairman stated that health care practitioners need to temper themselves, “because at the end of the day, you got to realize people are coming traumatized….”
He stated that some of the major complaints that reach his desk are not about diagnosis; rather they are about the doctors’ and nurses’ attitudes.
“Being a good doctor is about having a good reputation. People should look up to you, and to do that, it takes time,” he stated.
He added that every single day, especially in the media, the health sector is “under the microscope.” “More than any other sector…and you know why…because the job that they are doing is important— it is a question of life and death.”
Armogan stated, too, that inasmuch that the publicity has helped the health care officials and system to be better, it also has a “damaging impact which we have to correct over time.” He is calling on all health care practitioners in Berbice and Guyana as a whole to correct that image “which is not so good in the eyes of the public.”
He noted that even though doctors and nurses might be very highly qualified, if they do not have a relationship with people, “you would have failed…if you don’t have that kind of clientele.”
He stated that since the Government has been investing so much money for training doctors and nurses, it is imperative that the results be seen.
“Difficult as it may to quantify the results of our investment, it is not how much patients you see, but it will be based on a feedback mechanism from the public whom they treat.”
He added that the BRHA is a constitutional body which falls under the Laws of Guyana, and very soon, Region 5 will also fall under its purview.