The Ministry of Health has been collaborating with the private sector in its quest to provide crucial medical services to residents of some far flung public health facilities. Already benefiting from this new approach is the new modern Mabaruma Hospital, according to Minister within the Health Ministry, Dr Bheri Ramsaran.
The Minister noted that although the facility is aptly furnished it is not yet fully staffed. “Since we can’t have the full skills mix or resident team where the population is relatively sparse we are paratrooping in from time to time what we are calling roving teams.”
And this initiative, the Minister said, commenced last year in Mabaruma and will soon be introduced to the Lethem hospital.
With a team of about seven senior and very qualified doctors along with anaesthetic technicians, efforts were made to exploit the good conditions that currently exist at the Mabaruma hospital, Dr Ramsaran disclosed.
“We took them in free of cost and accommodated them but they volunteered their service. They did surgeries, they offered medical services for chronic diseases and they even headed lectures with Power Point presentations for the staff.”
Including the transfer of knowledge, Dr Ramsaran said that the introduction of the initiative at Lethem will take on an identical approach. Like the Mabaruma hospital, Lethem also has the infrastructural capacity but limited human resource skills, the Minister asserted. At the moment, he revealed, Lethem is creating a list of under 100 persons who will require surgery and by extension, the services of the roving team.
In the meantime, though, Minister Ramsaran noted that the resident doctors at these locations will still be expected to continue providing basic services that were always available.
“They will maintain those services and at the same time learn from their more qualified colleagues who will come on occasions to transfer knowledge to them.”
The private sector team, according to the Minister, has been working closely with the public health sector, which he hopes will soon be mobilised to join the roving initiative. And Ramsaran added that the possibility exists that surgeons will be taken from public health facilities: including the New Amsterdam hospital, the diagnostic centres and the Georgetown Public Hospital which is the largest reservoir of health professionals.
“Every time we send in a team, we send in an advance party to ensure that the place is in order. A technical person from the private and public sector goes in advance and puts things in order….So this is a tremendous effort but nobody is talking about this,” the Minister stated.
And though there may be some criticism, massive initiatives will continue to be introduced in a bid to ensure equitable delivery of health care. “There might be one or two mistakes or glitches, but the good things that are happening by far outweigh them but it is mostly the bad things that are being publicised…You hear all kinds of criticism but good things are happening too,” the Minister insisted.
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