– among several other major upgrades
THE Mahaicony Hospital, Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice), is currently undergoing major upgrades with the construction of an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and two surgical wards to complement the recently-refurbished state-of-the-art operating theatres and recovery room.
Regional Health Officer, Dr. Desmond Nicholson, in an interview with the Guyana Chronicle, said more than $12M is being injected into the projects, which are expected to be completed by the end of the third quarter. The projects, he said, are progressing smoothly.
“The original surgical wards were converted to maternity wards, so now we have allocated a space and we are constructing male and female wards for surgery patients as well as the ICU,” Dr. Nicholson explained.
Once the construction is completed, the RHO assured that the operating theatres, the ICU and the surgical wards will be readily equipped, paving the way for operation before the end of the year. While staffing remains a constant problem at the health institution, Dr. Nicholson remains optimistic that with the help of the Public Health Ministry and Regional Health Services, experts such as anesthesiologists and surgical doctors would be made available. Currently, the local doctors and nurses there are assisted heavily by a Cuban Brigade.
The RHO said because of the ongoing infrastructural projects, deliveries are not done at the hospital at the moment. All deliveries within the region are being done at the Fort Wellington Hospital.
Dr. Nicholson explained that screens are being installed within the maternity, pediatric, male, and female wards of the Mahaicony Hospital, alongside the upgrades taking place in other sections of the hospital.
“Once the screens have been put in place, we are going to be doing swabbing of those wards. I have already spoken to the microbiology (department) at GPHC to come and do the swabbing at Fort Wellington and also at Mahaicony, because we do not want to put patients in those wards without them first being swabbed,” Dr. Nicholson explained.
Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr. Shamdeo Persaud, during a recent visit to the region, said even though sections of the Mahaicony Hospital are out of service due to the renovations currently on-going, the two hospitals – Mahaicony and Fort Wellington – and the Type Two Health Centre in Rosignol, continue to meet the demands of people.
According to him, most persons are satisfied with the services being provided by the hospitals and health centre. He noted that upgrades at the Mahaicony Hospital augur well for the people within the region and will pave way for critical services to be added to those already being offered.
It was explained that the Fort Wellington Hospital offers general services including Maternal and Child Health Services. It also has a foot centre where it treats diabetic and filarial patients. The Mahaicony Hospital has the capacity to do ultra sounds, x-rays, and laboratory investigations. Dr. Persaud assured that upon the completion of the ICU and surgical wards, medical operations will be conducted there as well.
Public Health Minister, Volda Lawrence, said she is pleased with the developments at the Mahaicony Hospital and will be taking steps to upgrade further, the Fort Wellington Hospital. Based on an assessment by the Public Health Ministry, and interactions with residents, Minister Lawrence said more emphasis will be placed on Mental Health Services within the region.
Additionally, she said the ministry is working with the private sector to make available dialysis services to those kidney patients in need of such. Minister Lawrence said the high cost associated with dialysis treatment remains a financial burden for patients and the Health Ministry is exploring the best options.
“I don’t think they have the number of persons in Region Five to warrant the setting up a station here. I would preferably look at Region Six. We have Region Six on our list so travelling to Region Six would be easier than travelling to Georgetown. So once we can do that, we are looking at Region Six, Region 10, Region Two and Region Three, to establish centres, but in a public–private partnership so that we could be able to ensure that our patients, if they are requiring three sessions per week, that they get those three sessions,” Minister Lawrence explained.
The Public Health Ministry has also turned to the Finance Ministry for assistance.