Conglomerate Siemens pushing for stake in Public Health sector


…as company seeking permanent presence in Guyana

The wealthy German industrial conglomerate Siemens is pushing for a stake in the local public health sector.

This is according to a Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) release, which outlined that a three-person delegation met recently with Public Health Minister Volda Lawrence and a high-level team where the delegation rolled out its tentative plans which they felt can help accelerate modernisation plans for the country’s public health system.

Seated: Dr Karen Cummings, Minister Volda Lawrence and Daniel Fernandez                                                     Standing at the back from left: Glendon Fogenay; Phillip Bryan; Ministerial Advisor, John Adams; Ms Karen Yaw; Denroy Tudor;  Mike Singh and Roberto Tovar.

The MOPH posited that in its 120-year existence, Siemens has “been granted some 12,500 patents globally; amassed over 46,00 employees; has access to 1.2 billion of the world’s population; operate with an annual revenue of some £13.5B and is determined  to add Guyana to the other 75 countries in which they [have a] permanent presence.”

Siemens started in the late 19th century (1896) with manufacturing of industrial X-ray equipment for medical diagnostics.

According to the MOPH, since then the German firm has added a wide range of other products such as “CLINISTIX-dry chemistry for testing for glucose in urine; the first real-time ultrasound scanner; track-based laboratory automation system; Diagnostic analyser integrating four technologies in one system; robotic-assisted angiography system; multi-modality imaging 3D imaging system; wide-angle image acquisition breast Tomosynthesis among other hi-tech services.”

“Our purpose is to make health care providers succeed (and to) do more with less,” Roberto Tovar, Business Partner Manager at Siemens Healthcare said during the meeting at the Lot 1, Brickdam, Georgetown  headquarters of the MOPH.

According to the MOPH, “Tovar assured the MOPH delegation that the German conglomerate is not opportunistically angling to maximise profits from the financial fortunes of the much-anticipated transition to a petro-based economy following huge offshore oil finds by the American giant, Exxon Mobil here.”

“We want to be part of a society [where we get] to boost social impact,” Mr Daniel Fernandez, Siemens CEO South America (excluding Brazil), assured during the talks.

Fernandez said in Colombia Siemens implemented programmes which helped provide some 300,000 nationals with access to potable water and worked in the education system to help make science and technology attractive to learners.

On this issue, Dr Karen Cummings, Minister within the MOPH challenged the German firm to familiarise themselves with the University of Guyana (UG), especially its Natural Sciences department to help strengthen programmes there like they have done in other countries.

The APNU/AFC coalition government wants to push leasing and where appropriate, retrofitting of equipment to improve health-sector services Lawrence said.

“This should not be a challenge…I see no limitations,” Fernandez assured the Ministerial team which also included Deputy Permanent Secretary DPS), Finance, Mr Glendon Fogenay; Ms Karen Yaw (Planning) ; Mr Phillip Bryan, (Procurement).

According to Lawrence some of the partnerships with Siemens include the “leasing of an entire laboratory…to bring (improved) service to our people.”

Moreover, it was outlined that Siemens will “fully equip” the local reference laboratory to deliver a large range of services to Guyanese, in addition to services for the residents of Region 1 and Region 6 where “large, newly-built hospitals” are expected.

She said the likely partnership with Siemens which will prioritise fighting cancers, cardiovascular ailments and non-communicable diseases (NCDs), is part of a wider long-term vision which includes upgrading systems in the sprawling hinterland.

This the Public Health Minister said is their “priority for 2018”.

Importantly, the MOPH said, is that Siemens offers point of care (POC) services which, include multiple sites, hundreds of instruments, thousands of operators and “provides full control over our customers’ testing environment”.




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