Private hospitals given greenlight to test, treat COVID-19 patients

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The Government has granted permission to private hospitals that wish to acquire test kits for COVID-19 and treat patients who are diagnosed with the disease.

This is according to Chairman of the National COVID-19 Task Force (NCTF)Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo who during a virtual press conference on Saturday noted that “we have now given the green light for hospitals to import their own testing kits so you can supplement and do rapid testing; both state and non-state institutions.”

“The original concern is that Government cannot be a monopoly in testing and private institutions should be allowed…the private institutions are being brought into play and they are now a partner.”

Nagamootoo said the private hospitals were also approached to designate space for treatment and management of cases of COVID-19.

The Chairman did not rule out private hospitals approaching the Government for assistance to aid in their efforts.

“It is reasonable for the private institutions to seek help from the State to get help or funding for treatment and equipment,” he said, noting that this will help to reduce the cost to persons who wish to have their tests done at a private facility.

The Ministry of Public Health on April 7 said it is working on public-private partnerships and this initiative is being led by Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr Shamdeo Persaud.

In an interview with the News Room recently, Country representative for the Pan-American Health Organisation/World Health Organisation (PAHO/WHO) in Guyana, Dr William Adu-Krow said the private hospitals have proven to be helpful in the past in fighting pandemics.

He said the PAHO/WHO –which trained staff at the National Public Health Reference Laboratory to test for the disease –is open to assisting private health facilities.

As of April 10, Guyana tested 193 persons for COVID-19 of which 45 persons are positive, including six deaths.

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