Region Six health system in a crisis – AFC Councillor

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Alliance For Change (AFC) Councillor, Devin Sookraj on Thursday slammed the poor health system in Region Six (East Berbice/Corentyne) stating that it is in a crisis.

The councilor who has always stayed quiet during the RDC meeting lashed out while addressing the statutory meeting of the RDC.

Sookraj told the meeting that he has been receiving complaints of the deficiencies at the New Amsterdam Hospital on a daily basis and chose to raise the issue.

“It is not only the New Amsterdam Hospital; it is right across the Region. The entire health system is in a crisis…,” he stated.

Alliance For Change (AFC) Councillor, Devin Sookraj

Regional Vice Chairman Dennis DeRoop weighing in on the matter noted that the issues affecting the health sector in the Region are primarily due to the lack of proper management.

“You can’t put an office assistant to be the director. You can’t put an office assistant to direct doctors…. Therein lays the problem,” he said.

“It is a case of giving jobs to the boys and girls,” he added.

The comments from Sookraj came after Head of the Regional Health Committee; Zamal Hussain had presented the Health committee Report who stated that the health system is in a crisis.

“We continue as a government to cover up deficiencies. The situation at the New Amsterdam Hospital remains critical. People accessing the facility are still spending long hours there… the CEO [Chief Executive Officer] is unreachable, untouchable and is being covered by certain powers. While all of this is happening, the people are suffering,” he told the RDC.

The lack of diabetic strips at the New Amsterdam Hospital tops the list of shortages plaguing that institution, Hussain lamented.

“We had made recommendations that these things should be procured and at the Tender Board level we are not getting any of it. Not only the New Amsterdam Hospital but the entire Region has a shortage of diabetic strips. The X-ray department is only doing X-rays to the hands and feet but no other part of the body…”

As such, the health Committee has recommended that the system be upgraded. He also commented on lapses at the National Psychiatric Hospital. He said that the issues the institution faces were all as a result of poor administration.

At the Port Mourant Hospital, Hussain noted there is a shortage of doctors. In addition, the committee he added was told that some of the drugs that were listed as short are actually in stock at the drug bond but because of communication difficulties patients in the Hospitals cannot receive needed medications.

“This is where we are having a breakdown in the system so administrative issues are affecting the Health Sector.” There needs to be a complete review of the administration of the health department in the Region.

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