The Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation on Monday launched an extension phase of its Maternity Unit.
This expansion project is a critical intervention to reduce overcrowding and maternal mortality and also provide better equipment and services to patients.
The project is still in the evaluation stage and is expected to start construction in the next 12 weeks. The project is expected to cost $31M while the equipment will cost $19M.
The Government on Monday signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Canadian Bank Note, the Guyana Lottery Company’s parent company, to fund the expansion project.
Chief Executive Officer for the hospital, Brigadier (ret’d) George Lewis, said renovations were done last year in the pre-natal and post-natal wards and will also continue additional works this year.
In 2017, there were 8,324 admissions to the maternity ward with 5,515 babies delivered, while in 2018 there were 8,277 admissions with a total of 5,547 deliveries.
“Quick mathematics would suggest that we deliver approximately 16 babies per day within the Georgetown Public Hospital,” the CEO said.
He said because of the high admissions and deliveries the maternity unit is constantly challenged to find inpatient beds especially during the months between September and February. According to the CEO, the maternity unit has an average of 75 beds.
Kesaundra Alves, Chairperson for the Board of Directors at GPHC also said: “We have problem with overcrowding if you go back way in the history of time if you check the newspapers…overcrowding at Georgetown Public Hospital maternity unit has been a big problem and we have tried to solve it in many ways.”
Last year, the maternity unit relocated staff and also managed to add a total of nine beds to reduce the issue of overcrowding. The project also seeks to procure critical equipment to support health care within the maternity unit.
“Currently there are no facilities for the isolation of patients who require special needs,” the hospital’s CEO said.
When the project is completed there will be an increase in bed capacity in the pre-natal and post-natal wards by 27 per cent, while the floor capacity will increase by 41 per cent.
Minister of Public Health, Volda Lawrence said the expansion is important in addressing the issues in the maternity unit.
“It is our intention to re-inject the positives into this department, to change the statistics from negative to positive so that the incidents of maternal mortality and morbidity can lessen.”
General Manager for the Canadian Bank Note, Tracey Lewis, committed the company to maintain the maternity unit after the project is completed.