Army installs theatre at Ayanganna medical centre

Having installed a new operating theatre and successfully performed two operations, the Guyana Defence Force’s (GDF) is in talks with the Ministry of Health to have its medical centre at Camp Ayanganna upgraded to a cottage hospital in the near future.

Force Sergeant Major Dwayne Thomas (centre) thanks Dr Fawcett Jeffrey for a successful surgery as scrub nurse Woman Corporal Susan Parkinson (left) looks on (Photo courtesy of GDF).
Force Sergeant Major Dwayne Thomas (centre) thanks Dr Fawcett Jeffrey for a successful surgery as scrub nurse Woman Corporal Susan Parkinson (left) looks on (Photo courtesy of GDF).

The GDF in a recent press release said that the schedule is being pursued to meet that goal of a change in status and the centre has already been registered in keeping with the recently-legislated Health Facilities Act.

The Health Ministry is to conduct an inspection of the facility after which other procedural matters will be undertaken towards having the upgrade become a reality, the release stated.

The medical centre provides traditional in and out-patient services for soldiers and their families. However, it has also broadened its operations to providing pharmaceutical, laboratory, physiotherapy, and now, minor surgical services.

The first two were conducted on Force Sergeant Major (FSM) Dwayne Thomas and Georgetown Mayor and City Council (M&CC) employee Charlene Gittens.

According to the GDF, the two had cysts surgically removed from their hands. Dr Fawcett Jeffrey, assisted by scrub nurse Woman Corporal Susan Parkinson, completed each of the procedures in less than half an hour and both surgeries were successful.

Thomas had been a patient of the centre, while Gittens had her referral done by Dr Nurse with whom she had had prior consultation. Both patients said that they were a bit nervous about their operations, but expressed their complete satisfaction after they were completed, the release stated.

Local anaesthesia was applied in both cases, allowing the patients to remain conscious throughout the procedures.

Further, the release said Dr Jeffery has been volunteering his services to the GDF for the last two years and it was he who recommended that the army build the theatre facility, after it was clear that several minor surgical interventions could be successfully performed “in-house” at no cost to the force.

“During the last two years, I have seen many patients from the force with conditions which require minor surgery and I felt that with its own theatre facility, the GDF could provide minor surgical services and thereby reduce the incidences of these surgeries having to be done at other institutions,” Jeffrey was quoted as saying.

“It is great that the GDF has acted on my recommendation and built a fine facility which can meet the needs of its soldiers with regard to minor surgeries.”

Meanwhile, Officer Commanding the GDF Medical Corps, Captain Greasels Hinckson, said, “… we will continue to deliver quality health care for our soldiers and their families while building our capacity to do so.

The GDF thanks Director of Standards within the Ministry of Health, Ms. Yvette Irving and the ministry itself for the support provided…”

She added that, in the future, while more minor surgical procedures for hydrocele, hernia and other orthopedic cyst removals will be performed, the centre will expand its medical services to include antenatal, radiology, gynaecology and Pre-vention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV.

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