Early diagnosis, enhanced patient care promised as $474M pathology lab opens


Enhanced patient care and earlier diagnosis of diseases have been promised as a state-of-the-art Pathology Laboratory was on Sunday commissioned at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC).

The $474 million facility was funded through a collaboration among the Government of Guyana, the World Bank, Mount Sinai Health System and Hess Corporation.

It was commissioned by President Dr Irfaan Ali in observance of World Cancer Day on Sunday.

At a pathology lab, medical professionals and pathologists analyse and diagnose disease and conditions by examining tissues, blood and other bodily fluid.

President Dr Irfaan Ali during a tour of the new Pathology lab (Photo: Ministry of Health/February 04, 2024)

This type of lab plays a crucial role in the identification of the nature and extent of illnesses leading to proper medical treatment and management.

At present, the newly commission lab has six technical staff and five pathologists; efforts are ongoing to enhance the capacity.

In his remarks at the ceremony, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GPHC, Robbie Rambarran said the commissioning of the lab stands as a testimony of the hospital’s dedication to enhance patient care and diagnostic capacity in the country.

“This project….signifies a milestone in the advancement of health care infrastructure.

“This partnership has enabled us to introduce cutting edge technologies and practices that will increase the efficiencies of the hospital operation and pave the way for the introduction of new services to benefit the people of this country and beyond,” Rambarran said.

Through the lab, Rambarran said telepathology will also be utilised, making it the first time for this service to be provided in Guyana.

A section of the new Pathology lab (Photo: Ministry of Health/February 04, 2024)

The pathology lab consists of several pieces of cutting edge equipment, including a digital scanner, a chemical recycler, an automated tissue processor, microtome machine and new microscopes.

According to the CEO, for years the pathology lab remained stagnant and deteriorated.

As such, upon assuming office, he said he was forced to make several crucial changes which saw a restructuring of the entire lab, the recruitment of a manager and more medical technologists.

This, he said, helped to reduce the turnaround time from approximately 35 days to now within seven days.

President Dr Irfaan Ali during a tour of the new Pathology lab (Photo: Ministry of Health/February 04, 2024)

“With this new lab…we aim to achieve a turnaround time for routine test in 48 hours and urgent tests within 24 hours,” Rambarran said.

Meanwhile, President Ali in his feature address said the lab forms part of the government’s effort of building out a “world class” healthcare system in the country.

“The health care system has been quietly doing outstanding, groundbreaking work in Guyana and will be second to none globally,” President Ali said.

The overall goal, President Ali said is to ensure that the pathology lab is available to service the entire region.

“Our ultimate goal is to make this lab available to all of CARICOM. All of this region. Because this is one of its kind in CARICOM now and we want it to be a service to CARICOM,” the President emphasised.

To develop the healthcare system, President Ali further highlighted that research and development is critical.

“I want to say to you to have patience. The resources that will come our way to improve your welfare and to expand services will be more pronounced in the years to come.”

The lab consists of several pieces of cutting edge equipment (Photo: Ministry of Health/February 04, 2024)

According to Minister of Health Dr Frank Anthony, the new pathology lab will allow for an extension in the range of services offered.

“There were many services that we wanted to do but we were unable to do because we had limitation because of expertise, because of equipment.

“When people take a biopsy, they don’t have to wait very long…I know people get anxious. And so, by having faster turnaround time, we will be able to sway some of those anxiety,” he noted.

Dr Anthony further stated that significant investments are being made to enhance the healthcare system to ensure that the “best” services are provided to citizens.

1 Comment
  1. Derk says

    This is an excellent development and one which will attract Guyanese who are trained internationally and are willing to return .
    Training and continuous education of staff has to be paramount !

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