The small community of Baracara located alongside the Canje River in East Berbice has now benefited from a water ambulance which will transport emergency cases to the New Amsterdam hospital.
The Ministry of Public Health on Monday officially commissioned the ambulance and noted that it will not only benefit Baracara but surrounding communities as well.
The Department of Public Information reported that the ambulance cost approximately $31.4M.
Minister of Public Health, Volda Lawrence said the Government recognised the needs of the community and will be addressing other issues in the area.
“I am talking about only real emergency cases going out to New Amsterdam, I am talking about you having your lab test done here, I’m talking about you having a midwife, I’m talking about us being able to have dentistry come in on a scheduled period and all the other services will be coming in on a scheduled period,” the Minister said.
The water ambulance is equipped with the necessary emergency tools and will ensure that emergency patients have timely access to health services.
Two persons from the community will also be employed on the ambulance.
The Public Health Minister said another focus area is to upgrade the community health centre.
“We are here to tell you that the health centre will be upgraded to a polyclinic, some works will begin this year and will conclude next year,” the Minister said.
A polyclinic is where both general and specialist examinations and treatments are available to outpatients.
The Minister said two medex will also join the lone Community Health Worker, Kevon Joseph, while a doctor and a midwife will be coming on board in the future.
Joseph said he has been working in the community for over nine years and has faced many challenges in the past as it relates to transporting emergency cases to the New Amsterdam Hospital.
“We face a lot of challenges especially with transport because sometimes late at night we have to take outpatients [who] have trauma, persons with fast heart rates and lacerations. We have a lot of difficulty in the river,” the Community Health Worker said.
He is also grateful that it will not just be only him working in the area.
“It’s not me alone anymore, I will be having more staff to work with and the work will become more easier,” Joseph said.