The government will soon launch a four-pronged aggressive healthcare plan targeting vulnerable persons and providing specialty care.
President Dr Irfaan Ali made the announcement on Saturday evening at the Guyana Cancer Society’s inaugural fundraising dinner at Project Dawn, Liliendaal, Greater Georgetown.
The Head of State said this plan will be supported by a number of state investments as well as collaborations with the private sector, which includes the development of a Centre of Excellence for cancer treatment.
The government is currently working with Mount Sinai Health – a renowned integrated health care system – to establish several Centres of Excellence for healthcare.
“That is what we are working with the private sector. And that will be part of this three-year agreement. You will have here in Guyana, the Centre of Excellence for cancer care, Centre of Excellence for maternal health and children, and then we will build up our support for all the specialised care that is needed, for example, cardiac care,” President Ali revealed.
The President said the target areas will be persons with disabilities, mental illnesses, women and children and speciality care.
He noted that Guyana has “a serious mental health issue” that must be addressed and that it must be closely linked to primary healthcare.
For women and children, President Ali said that a state-of-the-art maternal and children’s hospital will be built with a capacity of 250 beds.
The President said that while the government will support the private sector in providing and developing speciality care, they will also need to have some “balancing” as it relates to cost.
Meanwhile, President Ali made it clear that the primary healthcare system must be revamped.
“We have to ensure that we get the new generation of people to understand what they have to change, [what] we did wrong. To do this, it requires the education system to get involved. It requires the curriculum in schools to change to reflect the new forms of thinking and the new approach— different approaches that are needed in confronting this challenge,” President Ali said.
He also noted that although the government will do all that it can to advance the country’s healthcare systems, it has to be done through a shared and joint approach where every stakeholder assumes responsibility.
“We have to take shared responsibility, shared risk, and we have to be able to create a multi-stakeholder approach to fixing this problem. The private sector, the doctors, those who are affected, the families of those who are affected and young people.” (Modified Office of the President press release)