Health Minister commits to reopening obstetrics ward at Leonora Cottage hospital

Minister of Public Health, Dr. George Norton in conversation with Regional Executive Officer, Region Three, Denis Jaikaran and other officials

Public Health Minister Dr. George Norton during a tour of the Leonora cottage Hospital on Friday reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to overall improvement in health care delivery.

Minister of Health, Dr George Norton and other officials at the Leonora Cottage Hospital
Minister of Public Health, Dr George Norton and other officials at the Leonora Cottage Hospital

According to a GINA release, during the Minister’s visit, specific emphasis was placed on an abandoned obstetrics ward which is expected to get more human resources to enhance the effectiveness of health care and treatment offered at the facility. Since its opening in 2008, the ward has seen a handful of deliveries.

Savitri Chandrabose a staff nurse noted that the reason for this was the lack of staff, more specifically midwives and specialists.

In 2008 the hospital had an Obstetrician Gynaecologist and that contributed to the hospital conducting a few deliveries. Since that time the ward had stopped functioning. Dr. Norton’s visit to the institution on Friday was to look specifically into the matter.

The medical staff at the institution expressed to the Minister their desire to see the ward up and running and having babies delivered.

Over the years, there have been complaints of maternal deaths, due to the fact that mothers had to travel all the way to the city and would arrive too late for surgery.

Dr. Foo, the senior GMO said that equipping the hospital with the much needed staff will not only serve Leonora, but all the communities around the area, Parika and the islands up to West Demerara.

Health officials have noted that in order to improve maternal health, the health centers must be working first of all. Thus the complicated cases can come early at the hospital and the distance would be shorter. They also expressed the need for a theatre.




  1. I think they should first get their act together and ensure proper care at GPHC maternity ward before reopening this ward. Maternity deaths seem to be held over from the previous administration. This needs to be fixed soon before focusing on deliveries at Leonora or elsewhere.


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