New state-of-the-art mental health facility among plans to improve healthcare, attract ‘global rich’

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Guyana seeks to expand its health sector and provide better care to locals while also attracting foreigners seeking specialised services, President Dr. Irfaan Ali said.

The Guyanese Head of State, who spoke at the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (GCCI) annual awards ceremony and gala dinner on Thursday night, posited that the local health sector will improve in coming years.

The forthcoming improvement, he said, is part of his government’s efforts to ensure that Guyanese benefit from better, more specialised services.

As such, the Ali administration is exploring the construction of a new “state-of-the-art” mental health facility in Region Six (East Berbice- Corentyne). Another 24-hour, holistic care hospital at New Amsterdam, Region Six, is also under consideration.

These new facilities would join six new hospitals being constructed across the country and several other smaller, specialised facilities for healthcare.

But there are plans beyond that.

“… we see the potential of healthcare as an export-earner for us,” President Ali said.

President Dr. Irfaan Ali addressing those gathered at the GCCI Awards and Gala dinner (Photo: Office of the President/ December 15, 2022)

One way of attracting foreigners and garnering those export earnings, Dr. Ali said, is the development of a stem cell facility in Guyana.

Stem cells are, essentially, the body’s raw materials from which other cells with specialised functions (such as nerve cells or blood cells) are developed. And contemporary medical research has been exploring how these cells can be grown in laboratories.

“… athletes, global celebrities (and) the global rich will come here because we will have a stem cell facility,” President Ali said.

Guyana’s government, in collaboration with the Barbadian authorities, are also seeking to develop a new mRNA vaccine production facility. This could help the region address several diseases.

And a new internationally-accredited nursing school in Guyana is another consideration. With this, the Head of State believes that persons interested in becoming nurses in Guyana and across the world can receive the necessary training and become employed in developed countries.

The President’s address on Thursday focused on the government’s outlook and projections for 2023, and the health sector was only part of the developmental plans for the country.

Speaking directly to businesspeople and members of Guyana’s diaspora, the President emphasised that there are abundant opportunities for investment and profit-making ventures.

As such, he urged them to partner among themselves and with experienced international players to exploit those opportunities.

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