BUDGET 2022: Six new hospitals, mental health & COVID big focus of $73.2 B health sector
A total of $73.2 billion has been allocated to the health sector in the 2022 National Budget and of that sum, $12.4 billion will be spent on developing six new hospitals across the country.
This is according to Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh who has been presenting the 2022 National Budget to the National Assembly on Wednesday.
Dr. Singh announced that the $12.4 billion sum will go towards the design and construction of a state-of-the-art paediatric and maternal hospital, upgrading of the West Demerara and Bartica regional hospitals, and the construction of six modern regional hospitals at Anna Regina, Tuschen, Diamond, Enmore, Bath and No. 75 Village, Corentyne.
“These regional hospitals are expected to catapult healthcare delivery beyond current levels provided by existing regional facilities as well as to reduce the undue cost and burden of referrals to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC),” Dr. Singh said.
Large sums of money have been allocated towards improving various other facilities across the country.
Importantly, too, a large allocation was made for mental health care. Dr. Singh said that $39 million will go towards extension of the mental health ward at the GPHC, while $50 million will go towards training- especially in speciality areas such as addiction and rehabilitation.
Furthermore, $6.8 billion will go towards the continued management of COVID-19. This will include procuring another 260,000 doses of vaccines to be utilised as booster shots and for those who are still unvaccinated.
And $17.9 billion will go towards procuring much-needed drugs for the health sector.