“The confidentially of the Board must be guaranteed at all times.” This assertion was yesterday made by Minister of Public Health, Ms. Volda Lawrence, when she officially launched the board of the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC).
As she addressed the gathering at the launch held at the GPHC, the Minister considered that “ideas will be put forward that will not always be unanimously accepted. You can entertain a respectful conflict of ideas and not degenerate into a lack of respect for each other”.
In essence, the Minister added, it is imperative that there must always be open discussion and informed decisions made in the interest of the organization.
“I need not stress the need for the highest integrity, for professionalism, and for the need for the promotion of quality patient care,” underscored Minister Lawrence.
“I charge you to develop a strong cohesive bond, to propose smart, measurable goals, to evaluate progress, change direction, if need be, to ensure that the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation emerges as a 21st century facility and Referral Hospital boasting of the highest quality patient care services.”
According to the Minister, it is only fitting that efforts are made to ensure that the patient care service offered at the GPHC is of the highest quality and is accessible to all residents, irrespective of ethnicity, religious persuasion, colour or creed.
She underscored that the Ministry of Public Health’s mandate envisages the adequate provision and delivery of primary health care and the enhancement of the well-being of all citizens. In fact, she pointed out that as is captured in Goal Number Three of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, it is essential that the GPHC, the primary institution for the delivery of patient care, indeed be an institution worthy of emulation.
“It is against this background, therefore, that today’s (yesterday) event becomes critical and integral to the fulfillment of the Ministry of Public Health’s mission and vision,” the Public Health Minister asserted.
“In my capacity as Minister of Public Health, I wish to welcome the Chairman and members on board and would like to share some of my expectations – the Ministry in collaboration with the Board, endeavours to address the various issues that have been clogging the system and shape a vibrant future for the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation, which functions as a curative and disease management service for the people of Guyana,” said Minister Lawrence.
She continued, “I wish to begin with our clients; they constitute the most important assets within the Corporation for without them, there would be no need for us. We will be null and void. It means therefore that they must be prioritized on our agenda; we have to offer them a quality service, we have to make them comfortable and respond positively to their expectations whenever they enter these precincts.”
The prime goal for clients of the hospital must be optimum patient care and satisfaction, Minister Lawrence emphasised, as she added that “we must ensure that we communicate to them that we genuinely care and that their needs would be adequately met. Their feedback would validate whether or not the service we offer has been purposeful, efficient and patient friendly.”
This notion of quality service for clients of the hospital, the Minister said, naturally brings into focus the role and responsibilities of the Board and the vision it has to ensure that the Corporation is managed effectively.
“You will agree with me that ineffective governance compromises the ability of the management to succeed and will result in total disarray and disconnect,” said Minister Lawrence.
She moreover shared her expectation that “there will be a demonstration of effective governance and we will witness a focused, integrated, energetic group who will each have a clear understanding of his/her role, and who, together, will define goals and objectives and work constructively to fulfill the mandate with which they have been entrusted.”
But according to the Public Health Minister, the question that arises speaks to the delineation of the mandate foremost. The mandate of the Board, according to the Minister, must be in sync with the management of the Corporation and the Ministry of Public Health.
Heading the Board is Ms. Kesaundra Alves, who holds a Bachelors of Law Degree and legal education certificate and a Masters of Law Degree from Dalhousie University of Law located in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
According to Minister Lawrence, at the Dalhousie University, Alves specialised in health law, ethics, policy and inter-disciplinary programme involving medicine, human rights, law and politics related to public health.
Also identified to hold a place on the Board is Dr. Holly Alexander. Dr. Alexander, according to Minister Lawrence, has worked for several years in the public health sector and holds diplomas in education, public management, leprology (the study of leprosy and its treatment) and a Masters in Public Health. Dr. Alexander, the Public Health Minister disclosed yesterday, has been spearheading several aspects of public health over the years.
Dr. Ivelaw Sinclair, another member who has been elected to the Board, currently practices medicine at the Fort Wellington Regional Hospital, West Coast Berbice. He is the holder of a Masters in Medicine and several other certificates in various aspects of health from institutions in a number of countries, including Canada and China.
Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Public Health Ministry, Ms. Collette Adams, is the only person to retain a position as member of the Board.
Representing the Ministry of Finance is Ms. Sonya Roopnauth who holds the portfolio of Director of Budget and had also previously worked in the Ministry of Health. The Nursing Council will be represented by Ms. Cleopatra Barkoye. Barkoye is the holder of a Masters in Nursing Education, among several other certificates.
Also on the Board is Mr. Kemton Alexander, the representative of the Guyana Public Service Union, and he comes with a background of a registered nurse and midwife.
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