May 18, 2013 News Comments Off on Eight benefited from surgeries done by Jamaican Surgeons
By Romila Boodram
The equipment used by surgeons at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) to operate on patients, is on par with the ones used in other countries. This is the view of Jamaican Orthopaedic Surgeon, Dr. Derrick McDowell.
The Surgeon and a medical team from Jamaica who are here doing voluntary work in surgery and assisting with the Local Residency Training Programme, made this comment yesterday during a press conference with two of the hospital’s senior surgeons, Dr. David Samaroo and Dr. Fawcett Jeffrey in the theatre at GPHC.
Dr. McDowell who will be leaving Guyana on Sunday is also trained in Sports medicine and is a professional in Arthroscopic Surgery. Arthroscopy means looking into a joint by means of a miniature telescope.
His team comprises of Dr. Paul Lowe, Orthopaedic Technician; Kareen Lewin Miller, an Operating Room Nurse and Dr. Ivor O’Connor, Orthopaedic resident.
Orthopaedics Surgery is the medical specialty that focuses on injuries and diseases of the musculoskeletal system. This complex system includes the bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles and nerves.
According to Dr. Samaroo, “There are some surgeries we are doing in Guyana and there are some we are not doing. Those surgeries that we cannot do, we would from time to time invite persons from different countries who would advise and train us.”
“For this occasion, we have invited Dr. McDowell and his team to come and be a part of the Residency Training Programme,” Dr. Samaroo noted.
He explained that the team of overseas doctors began evaluating patients last Wednesday. They have seen 16 patients of whom eight needed surgery. Five patients underwent surgery on their knees on Thursday; the other three were operated on yesterday.
Meanwhile, Dr. Samaroo explained that the hospital is offering a Diploma in Orthopaedics. “So far we have two persons who are about to commence their second year and one other doctor who is starting his first year. As part of the training programme we have Dr. Jeffrey and other Orthopaedic surgeons in the private sector.”
Dr. Samaroo explained that in the past, persons would have had to leave the country to go train overseas. That is not the case now. “We want to make this programme a bit more universal to see what happens overseas instead of sending them out so what we do is invite surgeons to come here.”
“There are about 12 doctors in the Department of Orthopaedics who will benefit from this programme but the emphasis is really on the doctors who are residents at present and they are five such persons,” Dr. Samaroo said.
Other beneficiaries are the Orthopaedic technicians as well as nurses who are working in the theatre.
Dr. McDowell, who works at St. Ann’s Bay Hospital, in Jamaica, mentioned that the equipment at GPHC is on par with other Hospitals in the Region. He also said that the support staff – nurses etal are remarkable. “So far we had no challenges, the staff has been tremendous and it was a pleasure being here; I found no fault.”
When asked whether he and his team would return to offer similar services in future, he said, “Definitely. I hope we can come with a bigger team next time and for a longer time.”
Dr. Jeffrey explained that the birth of the Caribbean Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons was realised six years ago. “Our first meeting was held in Trinidad and Tobago and there was a commitment by the surgeons in the Caribbean to collaborate with each other so that we can bring all the nations in the Caribbean up to the same level.”
He thanked Dr. McDowell and his team for sticking to that commitment. The hospital thanked the Jamaicans for coming to Guyana and offering their services, voluntarily.
Meanwhile, Avonie Lejha-Wast one of the eight patients who underwent surgery expressed her heartfelt gratitude to the doctors.
The mother of one said that she fell a year ago and since then she has been experiencing severe pain which rendered her inactive at times.
“I came here on Wednesday and I saw the visiting doctors. We went through all the results (MRI) and they asked me to return the following day for surgery. I was impressed; I was lying there; they showed me everything on screen and they explained what they were doing.”
The woman underwent surgery on Thursday and was discharged yesterday. Avonie was high in praise for the Georgetown Public Hospital and the treatment she received at the Institution. She also expressed her gratitude to the team of Surgeons – local and Jamaican.
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