Govt envisions quality healthcare for all, bridging the gap between hinterland, coastland

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Residents and other stakeholders of Orealla Village, Upper Corentyne
River, Region Six, were recently informed of government’s plans to
bridge the gaps which exist in health care delivery between the
hinterland and coastland communities.

Minister of Public Health, Volda Lawrence, while visiting the area,
said this was a mandate passed on by the president himself to ensure
that every Guyanese, despite their location, can access the same level
and quality of health care at any public health institution.

“His Excellency, David Granger said that whatever inequalities exist
presently, he would like us to address them. In other words, he was
saying to the Ministry of Public Health that whatever services you can
access on the coastland, when you go to the far-flung areas you must
be able to access those same services,” Minister Lawrence explained.

As such, she said that the government is examining the possibility of
establishing a cottage hospital for Orealla and Siparuta villages.

“We are not only thinking about now and we are not just thinking about
fixing a window and door only, we are thinking about how we can begin
to project our plans to 2025 and 2030 and for these two communities we
would like to ensure that at least there is a cottage hospital here to
serve you instead of you having to go down the river.”

It was noted that the general view is that health services are better
on the coastland than in the hinterland regions. Admitting that this
might have been the case in years past, Minister Lawrence said that
services are continuously being upgraded as evidenced in the reduced
referrals to the country’s main healthcare institution; the Georgetown
Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC).

Regional and district hospitals across the country have seen upgrades
such as the addition of more staff along with specialists and new
services including surgeries to deal with eye care, dental, and
physiotherapy services as well as equipment for emergency services.
The hinterland health care facilities and those in far-flung areas are
mostly targeted for such upgrades.

“We are presently reviewing all of our health care facilities to see
what upgrade we need to provide to these health facilities so that we
could offer more services… we want to be able to upgrade the health
services in these parts, so we can offer you more health services and
that is what this government is all about,” Minister Lawrence

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