UKEF, Austria in historic financing of €149M turn-key hospital for women, children
In the next two years, Guyana will be handed a €149 million Specialised Paediatric and Maternal Hospital to be designed, built and equipped by an Austrian firm, Vamed Engineering, and financed by the United Kingdom’s export credit agency – UK Export Finance (UKEF).
To be constructed on former sugar estate lands, the sod was turned at the Plantation Goedverwagting, East Coast Demerara location on Sunday and saw the attendance of President Irfaan Ali and Health Minister Dr. Frank Anthony along with other government ministers and dignitaries.
“We will deliver the best total package for you to live a good and healthy life.
“There will be no backing down in having the best possible system,” Dr. Ali said.
The 256-bed facility will serve maternal mothers while providing the best neonatal and pediatric care that could extend to people across the region.
Austrian Trade Commissioner to Guyana Dr. Andreas Schmid reminded that the project is the outcome of an agreement signed between Guyana and Austria in 2018 and regarded it as an excellent example of a successful government to government project.
Those sentiments were backed up by British High Commissioner Jane Miller who said the UK was happy to support Guyana in providing services for its vulnerable communities which included women and children.
Dr. Anthony offered details on the facility and noted that “when the President turns the sod it will usher in a new era of public health investment in Guyana… it would be the largest public health investment in the entire history of Guyana.
Dr. Ali later noted that public health investment per capita moved from US$7 in 1992 to also US$800 in 2022.
The hospital will meet international standards with many of the equipment and machinery to be imported from the UK.
There will be in-patient and out-patient clinics supported by sophisticated diagnostic and treatment tools.
The hospital will carry an imaging suite with MRI, surgical and cardiac suites along with modern laboratories.
“This is just the beginning of a wave of projects in health that will be transformational,” Dr. Anthony said.
Dr. Ali used the occasion to encourage, similarly, the development of the country’s human resources to match the infrastructural development.
“We are not building the second best; we are building the best here in Guyana,” he said as he thanked the bilateral partners.
“This is not a transaction; this has lasting outcome.”
In coming years, the entire aback Goedverwagting is to be developed with housing, hotels, universities and even government agencies.
“This is not a standalone development… There is a plan, it’s not just about digging up lands and putting down roads,” the President noted.