According to the 2017 National Budget $31.2 billion was allocated to the health sector in Guyana.
That amount should have remedied the situation that has been crippling the public health sector for quite sometime, from the shortage of pharmaceuticals, to the lack of trained staff and operable labs.
Among the list of items proposed for the health sector and budgeted for are equipment for the district and hinterland hospitals which also lacks specialize staff according to the Minister of Finance Winston Jordan during his debate speech.
“The lack of these resources hamper our ability to address the serious health challenges that the sector is face with,” the Minister noted.
According to the minister included in the Budget were plans to upgrade district hospitals to regional hospitals in the hinterland.
He said that it was governments’s intention to have four basic specialist posted at each of those hospitals which includes a pediatrician, a gynecologist/obstetrics, internal medicine specialist and a general surgeon.
The specialists were expected to be deployed at Regions 1, 8 and 9. According to reports and information gathered by Guyana Daily News very little has been done to remedy the situation that has been affecting the health sector.
In addition some $6.5 billion was also allocated for the procurement of pharmaceuticals yet many hospitals in the public sectors still lacks basic medication, insulin and blood pressure medications.
A reliable source attached to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) a number of issues have been plaguing the hospitals and the public health sector as a whole.
“It’s not only about the pharmaceuticals that we don’t have or the emergency medications that monies were procured for it a host of issues that has to be dealt with starting at the top to everything gradually falls into place.”
The public sector is very short of staff which includes nurses and doctors if there aren’t an inducement to keep them they won’t stay. Some nights we have one nurse manning 27 patients and that nurse is only human,” the source noted.
As with regards to the shortage of bed the source said that situation has plagued the institution for years. “We have pleaded time and time again for beds, we a number of patients that are referred to the GPHC on a daily basis in some cases we have to give patients medications and send them home,” the source noted.
According to the source many of the trained nurses have either migrated or have decided to take up employment privately.
The source also told this new entity that at present they are a number of defective ultra sound and x-ray machines at the hospital. And on one occasion the x-ray department had to be closed for almost two days since they weren’t any operable machines.