Touted as a means of placing emphasis on universal access to primary health care and expanding access to specialised care, Government has budgeted the sum of $672 million to commence construction of the much talked about speciality hospital at Liliendaal, Greater Georgetown.
According to Finance Minister, Dr Ashni Singh, this 100-bed state-of-the-art facility when completed, will allow Guyanese nationals, the wider Guyanese Diaspora and Caribbean nationals’ access to the best quality tertiary health care at an affordable cost, including in the areas of cardiology, nephrology, oncology, intensive care services, along with supporting laboratory services, clinical services, training and research.
This year has seen an allocation of over $16.9 billion to the health sector with the aim of continuing with modernisation plans and to consolidate on the gains over the past decade, Dr Singh said.
He revealed that Government’s vision is to place emphasis on decentralising services, strengthening public-private collaborations in a continued effort to reduce chronic non-communicable diseases, improve the quality of care and access to health services and strengthen the health system.
An additional $948 million has been allocated to construct, rehabilitate and maintain health infrastructure countrywide, Dr Singh said.
This, according to him, includes the completion of the National Psychiatric Hospital, Georgetown School of Nursing, construction of a health centre at Port Mourant, and renovation and transformation of the Mahaica and Linden Hospital buildings into the National Treatment and Rehabilitation Facility for Drugs and Alcohol.
Further, he revealed that a sum of $235 million has been allocated for the construction, rehabilitation and maintenance of accommodation for doctors and other medical support staff in areas such as Sand Creek, Karasabai, Kwakwani, Corriverton and Long Creek and for the procurement of medical equipment.
The Health Sector, according to Dr Singh, is also poised to benefit this year from in excess of $387 million which has been budgeted for the training and improvement of public health personnel to meet the growing demands for specialised services. The sector, he said, is expected to benefit from the services of over 250 Cuban-trained Guyanese doctors who will be placed across the country.
Reflecting on the National Health Strategy 2008-2012, Dr Singh said that Government’s steadfast focus on further decentralisation and expansion of health services had seen it expending $14.5 billion last year. This, as a result, saw over $998 million being spent on health care infrastructure development for the construction, rehabilitation and maintenance of health facilities, including the new 285-bed facility at the Georgetown Public Hospital. A denture laboratory at the Cheddi Jagan Dental Centre, works at the West Demerara Regional Hospital and reconstruction to sections of the Lethem Hospital were undertaken even as an additional $29 million was expended on land preparation for the specialty hospital, Dr Singh said.
He added too that Government expended over $300 million on training of medical and paramedical professionals in light of growing demand for health services while introducing a number of post graduate programmes.
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