Twenty-two health facilities were given 2019 licenses to practice medicine after meeting and complying with the requirements of the Health Facilities Licensing Act 2007.
Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr Shamdeo Persaud said the Ministry of Health received a total of 94 applications so far for the year. However, only 22 were approved, while 25 applicants are still pending.
Health facilities from the public and private sectors were the recipients of a full license or provisional on Friday at the Blood Bank’s Boardroom in the Georgetown Public Hospital compound.
The process to acquire the license entails an application and an inspection checklist. Practitioners, namely medical, nursing, pharmacists and dentists who work in the facilities also must be licensed.
“The law requires for all those professional categories, that those certificates of license be posted in the place of work,” Dr Persaud said.
He added: “In addition to the health professionals we also would like to see that the institutions comply with at least the minimum standards.”
However, for the past two years, the compliance with the health facilities requirements have been quite adequate on the greater part by private health facilities and most of the public facilities, Dr Persaud said.
He said they are trying to work hard to ensure that the public health facilities are at a high standard and to provide the best possible care to the population of the country.
The CMO said some of the other challenges they face is not enough capacity to deal with major issues, such as special institutes that might have a need for additional level of scrutiny, like the Cancer Institute.
The Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) has assisted the Ministry of Health with specialised advisory on protocols and guidelines when it comes to technical services.
“Most of the licenses as you will see for this year would be accompanied by a list of the services that are approved for that facility,” the CMO said.
The license for the facilities does not cover all services offered; the type of service depends on the licenses such as the termination of pregnancy.
Some of the health facilities that received licenses include Regional Health Centres in Region Four – Mon Repos, Mahaica, Lusignan, Enmore and Industry.
Other health facilities are Ithaca, Universal Health Care, Leslie Persaud Clinic, Guyana Responsible Parenthood Association, AMK Renal Care, St. Joseph Mercy Hospital, Demerara Paradise Incorporated and Balwant Singh’s Hospital.
Sandy Baird, a Medical Laboratory Technician said the Georgetown Public Hospital will begin inspection for the entire hospital on March 28.
Dr. Vivakanandan Bridgemohan from Demerara Paradise Incorporated said, “It is a very good initiative for the first time of having our license this early to ensure that our health facilities are licensed.”
Dr. Persaud said the licensing process was delayed in the previous years because of late application.
“Ideally we would want to see all of our facilities licensed by the 1st January of every year,” he said.