Health Ministry updates recommendations, response to provide universal healthcare


Recognising the shortcomings of access to healthcare, new recommendations and tangible measures now make up the Health Ministry’s Family Planning Handbook.

This, the sixth edition of the manual, provides health workers and policy makers with the most current information on healthcare options equips Guyana with the necessary and updated scientific protocols.

The updated manual was launched on Tuesday at the Ministry of Health’s Head Office at Brickdam. Health Minister Dr. Frank Anthony, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Narine Singh, and Director of Primary Healthcare, Dr. Ertinesa Hamilton, were in attendance.

Dr Hamilton, in a breakdown of the new recommendations, noted that the manual focuses on improving access to healthcare for all and places emphasis on vulnerable groups. Importantly, she said that indigenous women, migrants, men and the elderly are part of the focus.

In ensuring that these persons have equal opportunities for healthcare, the country’s overall health services can be deemed effective and within the guidelines of universal standards.

“It is looking at every age group along the life course. It takes into consideration also, the impact of the socio-economic determinant of health, it takes into consideration economic factors and patient safety,” Dr Hamilton said.

Meanwhile, Dr. Anthony said the government aims to stay on its current trajectory and follow best practices adopted from other countries. This manual allows Guyana to provide primary healthcare that is similar to world class care.

“If you intervene at certain critical points in this continuum, you can have better life outcomes later on.

“That is why this is important because the interventions in the manual speaks to those critical points and why we need to intervene there, what we need to do, how we need to do it,” the Health Minister said.

The Health Minister acknowledged that district hospitals are being standarised. Some 216 interventions are being done through assistance from the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO).

The Ministry has also embarked on programmes that target various diseases such as the HEARTS initiative that focuses on diagnosing and treating non-communicable diseases. Dr Anthony said the ministry is aware that healthcare is not just treating diseases, but ensuring that people have healthy habits and these programmes promote such lifestyles.

He mentioned that the programme will soon expand to include treatment for diabetes but in the meantime this manual will promote overall family health.

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