– hospital maintenance, drug procurement, fighting vector borne diseases among highlights
Within the past six months Government has utilized $11.5 billion for the health sector for this year.
According to a report compiled by the Ministry of Finance, the portion of the budgeted $28 billion for the health sector was expended on training medical staff, procuring pharmaceuticals and intensifying efforts to combat vector borne diseases like the Zika.
A breakdown of the spending was provided by the Ministry. The report stated that in an effort to increase the number of qualified professionals and develop human resource capacity in the health sector, an additional $172 million was expended on training.
As such, the Ministry said that there has been progress in improving the overall quality of healthcare continues.
“Patients experience increased access to qualified medical professionals, as the number of physicians per ten thousand population has increased from 14.1 in the first half of 2015 to 20.3 in the first half 2016.
The number of nurses per ten thousand populations has increased from 31.4 to 31.8.
Specialty services continue to be expanded with the deployment of additional obstetrician/gynaecologists and one pediatrician in selected regions this year,” the report stated.
In addition at half year 2016, the Government is said to have spent $2.9 billion through the half year on essential drugs and medical supplies.
In addition, about $136 million was spent on the procurement of dietary supplies to provide for the adequate nutritional intake for patients within our hospitals. Work is ongoing to improve systems for procurement and distribution.
The Government has also intensified its vector control efforts in the wake of the Zika threat propagated by the Aedes aegypti mosquito.
In the first half of the year, the Ministry recorded that over 380 fogging exercises were completed, as compared with128 over the entire year of 2015. In addition, over 7,700 long lasting insecticidal nets were distributed across the country.
These efforts will be further supplemented with an additional investment of over $43 million towards selected interventions, with the aim of minimizing the incidence of Zika and other vector-borne diseases such as dengue, malaria and chikungunya.
In addition, the report said that about $136 million was spent on the procurement of dietary supplies to provide for the adequate nutritional intake for patients within our hospitals. According to the Ministry of Finance, efforts are ongoing to improve systems for procurement and distribution.
There are also developments in the Emergency Suicide Prevention plan of Action. Consultations have taken place and a draft action plan was completed. This plan is expected to be completed in the third quarter.
While this is underway, training and awareness sessions have been taking place, benefitting over 600 persons in regions no 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9 and 10.
In this vein, preparations have been made for the roll-out of Guyana’s first Master of Medicine in Psychiatry programme, which will commence in September with an initial cohort of four.
Additionally the sum of $189 million was spent in the first half of 2016 on the purchase and maintenance of medical equipment, while $407million was spent on the construction, rehabilitation, upgrading and maintenance of health infrastructure across the country for the same period.
This included the construction of a 10-bed Intensive Care Unit for cardiac patients at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC), where progress also continues to be made towards the completion of the Cardiac Theatre and the extension of the Maternity Unit, where an additional bed capacity of 50 will benefit expectant mothers.
There has been improved accommodation for health professionals in the hinterland, works will advance in Jawalla, Kako, Katchikamo, Port Kaituma, Kato, and Kurukabaru
Further, while the upgrading of the Diamond and Leonora Diagnostic Centres is expected to commence shortly, works continue at the Port Kaituma Hospital Complex.
The interventions, specifically at Diamond and Leonora, will improve the efficiency of Healthcare service delivery to citizens by reducing the congestion at our National referral hospital, GPHC, and the West Demerara Regional Hospital.
Other works scheduled for the second half include the upgrading of the Tuberculosis (TB) Step down Care Facility at the West Demerara Regional Hospital, and the rehabilitation of a building to permanently house the Mental Health Secretariat.
With regard to the modernisation of three select primary health care facilities, designs and building plans were completed and sent to the Government of India for consideration.
Finally, the Government said it is reviewing options for the way forward for the Specialty Hospital Project in light of the debarring of the prospective contractor by the World Bank and concerns expressed by the Government of India.
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