[www.inewsguyana.com] – Minister of Public Health, Dr George Norton visited Region Seven where he met and engaged health personnel attached to the Bartica Hospital and the Four Mile, Riversview and Kartabo Health posts, on the way forward for the health sector.
While there he was informed that the Bartica Hospital is in dire need for better quality and quantity of drugs, more attendants and better security, more training programmes, and improved communication. They are also asking for a river ambulance and the establishment of a blood bank in the sub-district.
In the case of the river ambulance, that item will be in the budget; however adjustments need to be made to ensure that the boat is equipped to ensure patients are comfortable. The minister noted that the issue of quality and quantity of drugs is a national one that the ministry will work to address. The other issues will be addressed shortly.
Dr. Norton said that there are shortcomings in the health care system, not only in Bartica but throughout the country as he noted that the new administration will be working to tackle most of them.
“…We can only do so by coming and hearing from you. I as the minister must be looked at by you as your representative…we have got to work together as Guyanese to better the situation that we have at the moment,” the minister emphasised.
Dr Norton mentioned some key priority areas that the administration will be focusing on, such as infant mortality and training of personnel such as radiologists, general surgeons, and internal medical specialists among other specialised areas.
Given that suicide is becoming more prevalent in Guyana, Minister Norton said that health institutions ought to play a greater role in helping to tackle this problem by offering counselling. He urged the staff to modify their work ethics and start being their brother’s keeper.
“We cannot remain here in Bartica less we become vegetated, we have got to keep our interest in our profession,” he said. Another key area that the administration will be looking at is job satisfaction, ensuring that nurses are paid handsomely based on their qualifications, he added.
“We have to look at other things other than being down your throats that you have to get to work at 08:00hrs, we have to look at it holistically, and we have got to take your social welfare into consideration, if not you will not be able to deliver that which we expect of you. This is how we intend to do it. It is time nurses start getting benefits,” Minister Norton pointed out.
Meanwhile, Regional Chairman Gordon Bradford said that health care providers should be the change they want to see. While there are challenges, he said that “when it comes to life, we should always do our best, under any circumstances to ensure that we preserve life.”
At Four Mile, Riversview and Kartabo, the Community Health Workers (CHWs) were commended for their efforts to ensure persons in their respective areas are receiving quality service. They were also lauded for their record keeping and public education efforts. Dr. Norton urged them to take advantage of the many training programmes offered by the ministry and to elevate themselves.
On May 22, the minister made visits to the Georgetown Public Hospital (GPHC) and several health centers in Region Four. [Extracted and modified from GINA]