Budget has $72.6M to improve maternal he alth care

-12 ambulances to be purchased

Government plans to spend $72.6 million this year to improve the quality of care given to maternal health patients.

According to the 2014 budget, government has allocated $21.4 billion towards achieving “strategic goals” in the health sector.

Of this amount, “$50 million is allocated to commence the extension of the maternity facility at the Georgetown Public Hospital to ensure increased bed capacity while $22.6 million is allocated for the establishment of maternity waiting homes in Lethem and Bartica to cater for antenatal high-risk mothers”.

Finance Minister Ashni Singh, during the presentation of the budget on Monday, said that the allocations are “in keeping with government’s focus on maternal health.”

“Government will continue to prioritize resource mobilization for improving maternal health and efforts will be made to accelerate achievement of this goal in collaboration with our developmental partners,” Singh assured.

The announcement comes against the backdrop of Guyana’s relatively high number of maternal deaths.

The country is currently hard-pressed to reduce its maternal maternity ratio by three quarters by 2015 as it strives to meet the 5th Millennium Development Goal.

A country’s maternal mortality rate is the annual number of female deaths per 100,000 live births from any cause related to or aggravated by pregnancy or its management (excluding accidental or incidental causes). It includes deaths during pregnancy, childbirth, or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy, irrespective of the duration and site of the pregnancy for a specified year.

With 11 maternal deaths registered last year, Guyana’s maternal mortality ratio is second only to that of Haiti, for Caricom countries. A large portion of these deaths have been blamed, primarily by the relatives of victims, on malpractice on the part of care givers, although Singh made no reference to planned actions to address this area.

Last year, Health Minister Bheri Ramsaran told Stabroek News that several initiatives were being undertaken to lower the maternal mortality ration. These initiatives included putting a new batch of trained doctors to work alongside veteran obstetricians and gynecologists, so that if there is an emergency and the doctors were in surgery the juniors will be able to assist.

Further, $2.4 billion will be made available to construct and upgrade general health care facilities including the Port Kaituma District Hospital, the Linden Hospital Complex, the Kwakwani Hospital, the acute care facility at the National Psychiatric Hospital and the Georgetown School of Nursing. Furthermore, $382.7 million will go towards buying medical equipment, while $117 million will be used to purchase 12 ambulances. Once the new vehicles are acquired the national fleet will be bolstered by 40 percent.




More in Local News

default placeholder

Zouks beat Amazon Warriors by nine wickets

GROS ISLET, St Lucia,  CMC – St Lucia Zouks defeated Guyana Amazon Warriors by nine wickets in the 23rd game of the Caribbean Premier League at the Darren Sammy National Stadium here today.

Off-spinner Ravi Ashwin picked up seven for 83 to wreck the West Indies innings. (Photo courtesy WICB Media)

Windies suffer innings defeat against India after batting flops again

NORTH SOUND, Antigua,  CMC – West Indies’ batting collapsed for the second time in as many days as India crushed them by an innings and 92 runs inside four days in the opening Test here today, to take a 1-0 lead in the four-match series.

Jaikarran Chandradeo

Two more held as cops look for motive in Corentyne triple murder

Police yesterday detained two more persons as they continued to try to unravel the motive behind the gruesome shooting to death of two men and a teenage boy, whose bodies were discovered at Kokerite Savannah, Mibicuri Creek, on Friday.

These children enjoyed being pushed home by a cousin


Riverstown, a village on the Essequibo Coast, is pressed between Pomona and Airy Hall. Once you cross the railway-like bridge over a black water creek, you’re in Riverstown, where there are more than 700 residents.

Raphael Trotman

SARU operating legally despite absence of legislation

Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman said on Thursday that the State Assets Recovery Unit (SARU) is operating legally and despite its inability to prosecute persons, it is currently doing investigative work which is part of its mandate.

Dead: Orin Morris

Sophia stevedore killed in freak accident at wharf

The body of a stevedore attached to the John Fernandes Limited, Water Street wharf was retrieved from the Demerara River on Thursday evening, more than a day after he was involved in a freak accident.


About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: