Govt serious about vaccine manufacturing facility — President Ali
– Says investments move Guyana closer to “world-class” healthcare service
President Dr Irfaan Ali said that the Government’s investment in health is positioning Guyana to become a leader in healthcare delivery.
These advancements encompass all facets of growth, including the local manufacturing of vaccines.
“We are very serious about the establishment of a vaccine manufacturing facility in Guyana, to service the entire LAC [Latin America and the Caribbean] region,” the Head of State explained during the commissioning of the state-of-the-art telepathology lab on Sunday at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC).
He said that Guyana is “working with different partners including the EU, the UK, and of course, recently, Cuba has reached out to us to partner in this area of vaccine development and research. So, this is another piece of the puzzle that will migrate our healthcare system to a platform in which it will be second to none”.
These discussions, the President said, signal the Government’s seriousness towards having a vaccine manufacturing plant and a modern health system.
He explained that investments amounting to almost $30m, through the purchase of two colposcope machines, have been made.
Additionally, he announced that the Ministry of Health is already looking at the possibility of introducing a brachytherapy treatment centre in Guyana. This is used to treat certain types of cancers, including head and neck, breast, cervix, prostate, and eye.
Overall, plans are in place to advance all levels of healthcare in Guyana at all hospitals.
“We are targeting 25 additional digital x-rays this year. In the regional and sub-regional facilities, definitely at all the new facilities that are coming on stream including Lethem, Linden, and Bartica, we will have CT scans installed,” he said. Fifteen of these machines are already deployed to regional health facilities.
The Government, he noted, is aiming at procuring a mobile MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) facility for the GPHC, to cut waiting time and deliver faster service.
“We cannot deliver world-class healthcare here without upping our game,” the President underscored.
He said that these plans are in place for not just Guyanese, but the entire Caribbean region, since Guyana’s “prosperity must bring prosperity to this region”.
The magnitude of the operations is catering for at least 2.5m people in the medium term, including Guyanese and medical tourists.
“We want to ensure that our healthcare system is part of health tourism and is part of creating an economy by itself.”
President Ali said that his Government would continue to make resources available to advance the development of services and improve the professional development and welfare of healthcare workers.
“With investments that we’re making, I can say without a shadow of a doubt that our human resources asset in the healthcare system is quickly becoming world-class assets.”
In this regard, he announced that the Government is in discussions with the University of the West Indies (UWI) to bring their School of Medicine to Guyana.
“Today, I’m pleased to inform you that the University of the West Indies School of Medicine has now approached us to be part of this vision in bringing their campus here to Guyana.”
The President said that talks are underway to have the school in Region Six (East Berbice/Corentyne), to support not only Guyanese students but also those in Suriname.