Population size, not political support, driving six new hospitals – Health Minister

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The construction of six new hospitals is expected to begin this year but Health Minister Dr. Frank Anthony has rubbished concerns that the new hospitals are being constructed in political strongholds.

Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh, while presenting the 2022 National Budget recently, announced that $12.4 billion will go towards six new hospitals and other hospital upgrades across the country.

The new hospitals are slated for Anna Regina, Tuschen, Diamond, Enmore, Bath and No. 75 Village, Corentyne.

But during her presentation at the budget debates on Thursday, Opposition Parliamentarian Dr. Karen Cummings asked for evidence to justified the selection of those locations for those hospitals.

She questioned whether these hospitals were being constructed in the political strongholds of the ruling People’s Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C) party.

Opposition Parliamentarian Dr. Karen Cummings (Photo: DPI/ February 3, 2022)

But Dr Anthony debunked her claims.

Using the example of Anna Regina on the Essequibo Coast in Region Two, the Health Minister said that this is the most populated area in that region.

“It is the most populated area in Region Two, why should they not have a hospital there?” he asked.

Similarly, in Region Three, he said that the number of people living near Tuschen, East Bank Essequibo, necessitates a hospital there.

Meanwhile in Region Four, where the country’s largest hospital- the Georgetown Public Hospital- is located, Dr. Anthony explained that there is a need for new regional hospitals to spread out health services.

All of these hospitals, Dr. Anthony said, will be equipped with CT-scan machines, modern laboratories and x-ray facilities. These facilities, he explained, will be able to transform healthcare delivery locally.

“When we talk about transformation, we are not just talking we are ensuring that we can deliver on this transformation,” Dr. Anthony said.

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