Angoy’s Avenue Health Centre being underutilized

The Angoy’s Avenue Health Centre (AAHC) located in Smythfield, New Amsterdam recently hosted its first Health Centre Day and it was disclosed that the facility is severely underutilized.

The event, which will become an annual feature, was intended to give members of the community an opportunity to publicly voice any concerns they may have about the services offered at the health facility and make recommendations on how those services can be improved. The activity also served as an avenue for the health centre’s staff to disseminate pertinent information to persons accessing services at the facility.

The health centre serves some 15000 people within the catchment area of Tucber, Smythfield and Angoy’s Avenue. With a staff comprising of one visiting doctor, one midwife, one community health worker and one visiting clinic attendant, the centre provides a host of services inclusive of Pre and Post Natal Care, Infant Clinic, Pre-school Clinic, Family Planning Clinic and Doctor’s Clinic. Additionally, the staff also make home visits to the elderly and shut-ins; and provide pharmaceuticals, dressings and immunization to those who need it.

The Angoy’s Avenue Health Centre
The Angoy’s Avenue Health Centre

However, despite being just over a year old, the health centre is already being classified as underutilized. In delivering the health centre report for the fiscal year 2013-2014, Midwife June Daniels disclosed that only 22 babies have joined the infant clinic, while 404 children ages 1 to 5 years have joined the Pre-school clinic.

The visiting doctor who is available at the centre every Thursday between 13:00 and 21:00hrs is also not being fully utilized by the community. Of the patients seen by the doctor over the one-year period, 23 were diabetics; 45 hypertensive; 16 had some form of skin disease; 8 were anaemic; 4 asthma cases; 12 suffered from gastritis; ear infections – 9; eye ailment – 1; infant care – 31; child care – 53; and arthritis – 12. Four persons had to be referred to the New Amsterdam Hospital (NAH).

Just over 200 patients were seen by the doctor during the twelve-month period; a figure deemed unsatisfactory by the Berbice Regional Health Authority (BRHA) given the fact the health centre serves a population of 15000.

Dr. Vishwa Mahadeo, the CEO of the BRHA, did not mince words during his remarks at the Health Centre Day as he expressed his dissatisfaction specifically with the underutilization of the doctor stationed at the primary health facility and warned the residents that if they continued to bypass the doctor stationed at the health centre and opt to seek treatment at the NAH, the doctor would be removed from the facility.

“Seeing one hundred or two hundred people in one year is not utilizing the skills and the time of the doctor effectively!” Mahadeo said. He warned that “there are other places that are crying for the doctor to be there” and that if the community does not need the doctor, the doctor would be removed from the health centre.

Baffled by the fact that the doctor was underutilized in a heavily populated area, Mahadeo said “the doctor who works here [AAHC] also works at the NAH”. He questioned why residents seem to “prefer to go see Dr. Ramnarine at the NAH rather than see Dr. Ramnarine at AAHC”. The residents were reminded that “it’s the same doctor; it’s the same treatment she is going to give you whether you come here [AAHC] to see the doctor or go to the NAH to see the doctor – the treatment is not going to be different”.

The residents were also told that “the Public Health Services of Guyana provide one kind of drugs across the board – so if you come here [AAHC] and get Panadol, the same Panadol you will get at NAH or in Linden”. Pleading with the residents to make full use of the visiting doctor, Mahadeo said “we brought this service here to make life easier for you”.

The Angoy’s Avenue Health Centre was commissioned to ease the load of the New Amsterdam Family Life Health Centre.


More in Local News

Renee McDonald

Chair of Bid Protest Committee resigns

Chairperson of the recently-established Bid Protest Committee (BPC) Renee McDonald has resigned even as the body’s first case—Cevons Waste Management’s protest against the Ministry of Communities over the award of a $221M Haags Bosch landfill maintenance contract—awaits a decision.

default placeholder

Main suspect in Black Bush triple murder held, owns shotgun

The main suspect in the Black Bush triple murder has been held and he is the owner of the same type of weapon that inflicted the deadly wounds.

Shane Mc Almont

Two charged with killing missing miner

Just two days after severed body parts suspected to belong to Mahdia miner Shawn Clarke were discovered, two men were charged in a city court with his murder.

default placeholder

Ferry collides with Supenaam stelling

The ferry,  Sabanto  suffered extensive damage after it collided with the Supenaam Stelling last evening and will be out of service until further notice.

Darnell Matthew

Three hospitalised after driver hits visiting St Lucian scouts

A visiting St. Lucian Cub Scout has been critically injured, while another and his mother escaped with minor injuries after they were struck by a car yesterday afternoon near the Scout Association of Guyana headquarters at Woolford Avenue.

Nafeeza Mohammed

Bush Lot woman accused of trafficking teen for prostitution

A Bush Lot woman was yesterday charged with trafficking a teenaged girl for prostitution. It was alleged that    shop owner Nafeeza Mohammed, of Lot 17 Bush Lot, Essequibo Coast, between April 26 and May 31, in Region One, received, transported and harboured the teen for the purpose of sexual exploitation.


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: