Labour Minister says 2021 Budget to cater for five-year scholarship programmes to train doctors


The PPP/C Government’s 2021 Budget will cater for five-year scholarship programmes to train doctors to ensure hospitals are better staffed.

Minister of Labour Joseph Hamilton made this announcement during a meeting recently with the junior and senior doctors at the Linden Hospital Complex to address the shortage of doctors in the region.

Minister Hamilton explained that the practical solution would be to train more young persons to become doctors.

“We have 900 people doing the job of 1,200. I can say to you pellucidly that the practicalities in the 2021 Budget, will put mechanisms in place to ensure five-year scholarship programmes can start,” he said.

The Upper Demerara-Berbice (Region Ten) has seen a decrease in the staff complement of doctors over the past three years. This is due mainly to some being restationed in the hinterland regions and in Georgetown.

Minister Hamilton said in 2015, Region Ten had the most doctors, which could adequately meet the needs of its population.

“We ensured that every single person from Region Ten [who] was trained, we sent them back to their region to work …And now we have a problem, because when doctors were leaving, the previous Government was not training,” he said.

Minister Hamilton also said consideration would be given to sourcing doctors from overseas to serve in the region. (Extracted and modified from DPI)