Construction will commence soon on a modern hospital at De Kinderen, West Coast Demerara to facilitate citizens living in and around the area, Health Minister, Dr. Frank Anthony announced during the opening of the privately-owned Sheriff General Hospital at Leonora on Saturday.
Dr. Anthony said the new hospital is part of a $1 billion allocation in the 2023 budget to upgrade primary health care facilities across the country.
He said with a massive growth in the population in communities at Tuschen and Parika, new health facilities have become necessary and are welcomed even if the investment is from the private sector.
And so, he announced that the land clearing for the De Kinderen facility is complete and construction will commence in the coming weeks.
The hospital will be equipped with approximately 75 inpatient beds, two operating theatres, one minor theatre, imaging suite (digital x-rays, ultrasound, CT scans), modern accident and emergency and outpatient departments.
Similar public facilities will be constructed in other regions including at Lima Sands in Region Two, Diamond and Enmore in Region Four and Bath Settlement and #64 Village in Region Six.
“I just want you to know there is room for everybody. Whether people prefer to go to private hospital for service, [or public hospitals] there is room for that.”
Dr. Anthony said he was particularly happy with the investments in the health sector in Region Three which should now deter people from travelling to the city to seek medical attention.
“Often people like to come to Georgetown but you don’t have to anymore because you can now get the same services right in your region,” he said.
Already, US$1 million was expended to re-engineer and upgrade the Leonora Hospital as part of the Smart Healthcare Facilities in the Caribbean project.
Meanwhile, the construction of a new hospital in the compound of the West Demerara Regional hospital is part of the government’s manifesto promise to provide improved infrastructure and improve the quality of healthcare services in all administrative regions across Guyana.
And with this expansion in private and public facilities, the minister recognises the challenge for trained human resource to staff the facilities.
To this end, he announced that that the government has taken steps to 10, 000 nurses over the next three years after which the aim is to train 1, 000 each year.
“All these facilities, whether private or public, need competent staff in these facilities,” he added.
This specific training opportunity is compliemented by post graduate courses offered locally with emphasis on specialised training.
Right now, there is local specialisation in 18 different fields.
“This too will add to quality of health care talking about,” Dr. Anthony said.