– Overseas-based doctors
Even as doctors attached to the Deskan Institute and Training Medical Mission are being praised for their invaluable services by Guyanese, the system in which they operate could be stressful at times.
This was revealed by Dr. Joan Liverpool, head of the Mission during an interview with this publication yesterday.
The Guyana-born Dr. Liverpool has been coming to Guyana from the United States of America for several years with a team of overseas-based doctors to physically examine, advise, and distribute medication to persons from various parts of the country.
Dr. Liverpool said that although the doctors would usually take time out of their busy schedule to come here and offer their services, the local system could be a hassle. She recalled in one instance a group of medical practitioners came here for a week but did not get to do much.
“The medication was held up for the first week and by the time we got the medication it was the end of our mission…We have difficulty with transportation and then too, we are coming here to help, even a glass of water at the end of the mission will show a lot,” Dr. Liverpool related.
She added, “If I am bringing in specialists and I am saying that I want to come and spend some time here and offer my services, then I should not have to lift my dress up or pay under the table, because I am not going to do that.”
Further emphasizing her frustration, Dr. Liverpool pointed to a recent incident where the Guyana Defence Force took credit for a joint exercise.
She explained that after conducting medical outreaches in Cotton Tree, West Coast Berbice and Cane Grove, Mahaica, last week, the Force issued a media release about the event, but did not mention the Foundation (See related story on Page 36).
Despite the challenges, Dr. Liverpool is determined to continue helping people.
According to the doctor, the team of medical practitioners that visited Guyana last week included neurologists, cardiovascular specialists, orthopedics and pediatricians.
Throughout their visit, the doctors examined and distributed medication to numerous patients. In some cases, patients were advised to visit the nearest hospital to seek further medical attention.
“The people are warm and welcoming, most of the patients from the year before, when they heard that we were coming back, they came this year to see us and I can say to them, ‘aunty, uncle you are not taking care of yourself’ and they would listen,” Dr. Liverpool said.
The doctor said that at the end of the mission, whatever medication they have remaining, would be distributed to various health centres. She added that the local health centres lack basic tools and urged the government to do more for their people.
Two doctors from the team, Dr. Kwame Makini and Dr. Talitha Tweedy said serving the people here has been a life-changing experience.
Dr. Makini said that the persons he met were eager to learn and willing to implement what they learnt. He was happy to be on this mission and is looking forward to return next year.
According to Dr. Tweedy, her visit here has been rewarding in terms of serving the people. She said that it was a pleasure to see how grateful the people were for their services.
Deskan Institute is a non-governmental organization which strives to assist organizations to strengthen their capacity, provide services, and enhance the work environment with the objective of expanding the delivery of health education and health promotion.
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