Two new centres of excellence will be established locally to provide cardiovascular and oncology care for patients in Guyana and the wider Caribbean, as part of a new national health care initiative launched on Friday.
The new initiative sees Guyana partnering with the renowned Mount Sinai Health System and the Stabroek block co-venturer Hess Corporation to transform the local health system. Hess Corporation is investing about US$32 million to advance this new initiative.
Health Minister Dr. Frank Anthony explained that the new initiative has three components that are expected to improve the quality of health care received locally, and people’s life expectancy.
The first component includes improving the health system through upgrading primary health care and infusing an electronic medical records system; the second integrates exchange training to improve the service offered at the Georgetown Public hospital; and, the final component will see the establishment of the two new centres of excellence in collaboration with the private sector.
“The Mount Sinai team has the expertise to help us build the new world class system that we are thinking about,” Dr. Anthony said.
Executive Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer of the Mount Sinai Health System Dr. Jeremy Boal said that as soon as next week, more than 40 clinical leaders in various health specialisations will travel to Guyana to commence the exchange training with the Georgetown Public Hospital.
The creation of this world class system was hailed as the vision of President Dr. Irfaan Ali.
The Head of State, while explaining the aim of the new initiative at the State House in Georgetown, said that the government is investing the necessary resources to guarantee that Guyanese have access to the best health care.
“The goal is to position Guyana as a destination of choice for health care services globally.
“… There will be an entire system overhaul both at the private and public system,” President Ali said.
Further investments from the local private sector will, however, be needed to advance the plan. To stimulate those investments, the President said that the government has removed the corporation tax from healthcare providers. It will also seek other means of incentivising investments.
“You guys need to come together and understand that what we are working on is a huge market, not just a Guyanese market,” the President said, speaking directly to private sector players.
Importantly, while Guyana develops its health system, President Ali also announced that Mount Sinai has agreed to a 30 per cent discount to any Guyanese requiring specialised treatment abroad. Persons who require that service will have to engage on Ministry of Health on accessing this new arrangement.