The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the New Amsterdam Hospital has reportedly refused to accept an instruction from the Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) Regional Democratic Council (RDC).
<<<<Inews >>>> understands that the CEO is unwilling to make the arrangements for an ophthalmologist to operate at the New Amsterdam Hospital.
On November 1, 2018, the Region Six RDC took a decision to have an ophthalmologist operate out of the New Amsterdam Hospital after the National Ophthalmology Centre had not done any cataract surgeries for the past three years.
However, when Regional Chairman David Armogan passed down the instruction, he said he was met with resistance.
Head of the Regional Health Committee, Zamal Hussain told this publication that the Regional Chairman contacted the CEO by way of telephone.
“There is a crisis in the eye care system or the ophthalmology system in Berbice and as such we were trying to assist… the CEO bluntly tells the Chairman this morning (Thursday) that she has to seek the guidance of the Minister,” Hussain related.
He reiterated that the region is being managed by an RDC and not Ministers.
For more than a year, the RDC has been calling for the National Ophthalmology Centre to be equipped to recommence cataract surgeries.
In May last year, Public Health Minister Volda Lawrence announced that the Centre will recommence cataract surgeries shortly, but this has not been forthcoming.
At the November 2018 sitting of the RDC, the decision was taken to utilise space at the New Amsterdam Hospital to have an ophthalmologist operate.
“We as an RDC must overlook the health care system. We are not given the opportunity to implement some of the decisions that we are taking at the Health Committee and to an extent the RDC and as such the system is failing in Region Six. I think the Minister, or the Ministers are in a situation whereby they are trying to grabble the local democracy of Region Six; they are disrespecting the RDC and they are trying to manage the healthcare system with their dictatorship level,” the Regional Health Committee Chairman said.
The National Ophthalmology Centre has the capacity to conduct about 10,000 surgeries per year.
The $140 million facility at Port Mourant was commissioned in July 2009 and was the first specialised Ophthalmology Centre in the Caribbean. However, there has been no cataract surgeries at the facility since 2015.
In its first 10 months of operation, there were 21,074 persons seen at the Centre; 8932 were seen for refractive errors of the eye, 1536 surgeries were done of which 316 were cataract surgeries.