Govt inks US$17.5M credit agreement to improve healthcare delivery

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Healthcare delivery in Guyana is expected to benefit from a multi-million-dollar line of credit from India. Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan today (Wednesday) signed a US $17.5M line of credit with the Export/Import (EXIM) Bank of India to upgrade primary health care facilities, according to the Department of Public Information (DPI).

Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan (left) and Sailesh Prasad, Resident Representative on behalf of the Export-Import Bank of India, signing the line of credit agreement today at the Ministry of Finance’s boardroom

Minister Jordan explained that the funds will be used to refurbish existing facilities and construct new buildings at the Suddie Hospital in Region Two, West Demerara Regional Hospital in Region Three and the Bartica District Hospital in Region Seven. The line of credit will also be used to procure medical equipment to furnish the new and renovated facilities, the DPI reported.

Jordan added that the upgrade of these facilities will also ease the burden currently placed on the Ministry of Public Health’s budget, which already caters for evacuating hinterland patients to the Georgetown Public Hospital during emergencies.

According to the DPI, Minister of Public Health, Volda Lawrence who witnessed the signing, indicated that primary healthcare is the most important level of healthcare. “Therefore”, she added, “it is incumbent on her Ministry to ensure that services including prevention, promotion, rehabilitation and palliative care are delivered.

His Excellency, Venkatachalam Mahalingam, High Commissioner of India to Guyana said, “One of the companies which have been given by EXIM Bank, will be chosen as the project management consultant who will prepare the detailed project report, and then the project will take off. I’m sure that the process of choosing one of the companies as project management consultant will be done soon.”

The Public Health Minister expressed gratitude for this gesture and assured that the line of credit will be utilised to fulfill the Ministry’s mandate of enhancing the delivery of primary healthcare.

A consultant will be hired to provide a detailed report of the project after which actually works will commence, DPI said.

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