$100M Psychiatry Ward Commissioned at GPHC
A $100 million psychiatry ward, which has world-class equipment, was on Tuesday commissioned at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation.
Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony commissioned the ward and said mental health has been neglected for far too long.
The facility will now offer first class treatment with electroconvulsive therapy being among the newer additions. Seven healthcare providers attached to the department will receive training from Northwell Health, a New York healthcare provider.
The building also houses several special rooms where patients can received specialised treatment. The facility will be open with special care offered on particular days by specialists in the department.
“One of the principles now in the Ministry is to ensure that patients, if they have acute episodes, they can come in, get care and once we have managed that episode, they can go back home and access that care closer to their home,” Dr Anthony stated.
Dr Anthony added that in order to ensure that patient care is at the forefront, the Ministry is also training doctors in basic psychiatric care.
The psychiatric ward currently caters to over 16,000 patients, 70 of whom make yearly visits. The number of persons needing mental health care increased during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Now adults, adolescents and children will receive care at the facility in a comfort that was not always available, according to the head of the department, Dr Bhiro Harry.
He explained that in the past, there were 40 beds available for the department but as time progressed, the numbers decreased, especially due to the relocation of the ward, after the fire that destroyed the section in 2020.
“On a weekly basis we had to make one or two trips to the National Psychiatric Hospital (at New Amsterdam, Berbice); not because we are incapable to treat our patients here.
“We don’t have space so we treat them for a day or two and then we send them to the NPH. Now this is being changed, we now have 16 active beds and we have two on the side,” Dr Harry.
He said he is elated to finally have the necessary equipment and amenities to cater to the needs of patients.
As the government highlights the importance of mental health, new laws to protect mental health patients and the promote wellness were updated last year. This facility is an added effort to provide the best possible care.