by Stacy Carmichael-James
Regional Executive Officer (REO) of Region nine, Carl Parker has praised the health system there, however he pointed out several sore points during an exclusive interview with News Room.
Parker believes that 90 percent of the health workers are dedicated to their jobs, while a few are not “pulling their weight.” Notwithstanding this, the REO said transportation is posing a major challenge to healthcare in the region, noting that “we have limited resources where transportation is concerned, but we try our best to collaborate with the other sectors, for instance education…we pull along each other.”
He noted too that the region is doing exceptional in terms of healthcare delivery, despite the Lethem Hospital experiencing several challenges. Parker pointed out that a wing at the hospital was recently refurbished and plans are afoot to have a storage bond built, since the Pharmacy is currently over stocked.
The REO said he continues to implore officials to have their requests completed in a timely manner to ensure that drugs are procured and delivered efficiently.
“The health system would be responsible for procuring/determining what drugs are being procured, we have drugs that are specific to region nine for example a popular ailment in region nine is the bush yaws…but those drugs are not easily available in Georgetown,” he posited. In this regard he disclosed that the Regional Health Officer (RHO) has made efforts to procure the drug from neighbouring Brazil.
Some $73 million was allocated to the region this year for procuring drugs.
Additionally, Parker highlighted another sore point, “some unscrupulous drivers would pick up any sick person and on that basis they would put back their fuel and in most instances those buses would come out with a full load of passengers, so we were actually paying them for a full load of passengers that were not health related.”
In this regard, the REO said patients are asked to travel out of their remote locations only with the permission or knowledge of the health personnel.