At the Guyana Watch Inc. Medical Outreach at Bath Settlement, West Berbice onThursday we asked persons to comment on the service they received there and at the public health care facilities. Here are their responses:

Interviews and photos by Shabna Ullah

Dharamraj Shivcharran, labourer, `I heard about the clinic through an advertisement on TV. I am having a serious back pain and I decided to come and have some medication for it. I am just hoping to get some relief. I had this problem for over one year now and I used to take treatment from a doctor at the New Amsterdam Hospital. After that I bought painkillers for it from the drugstore. I did not go to the Fort Wellington Hospital because my relative helped me to get through fast at New Amsterdam.’

Anjanie (Teacher Bee), retired teacher, `I am very happy that the clinic came to the area because they would always have some good medication. I came to have my blood pressure tested and for treatment for a severe headache I would normally suffer from. I attend the clinic at the Woodley Park Health Centre and at the Fort Wellington Hospital on a monthly basis and I would get good treatment there. I came to this clinic mostly for a problem with my fingers. The last time they were here I had filling done to my teeth and I cleaned them. I am thankful to the team for coming and doing such a good job. The clinic is free and the doctors came from far so I am making the best use of the service.’

Jaiprashad Outar, pensioner, `I came to the clinic to get some treatment for an itch on my finger and for a hip pain. I also suffer from diabetes and hypertension and when I did the tests just now only the pressure was high. When the last clinic was here I got treatment for my diabetes and it helped to control it. I worked at the sugar estate so I would go to the Guysuco dispensary at Bath and get treatment. I went two times to the Fort Wellington Hospital and I saw the doctor but when I went to the pharmacy to uplift the tablets they told me they did not have and I have to buy it. Since then I did not go back because that is a waste of time.’

Nazarine Parjohn, housewife, `I came to the clinic to extract a tooth but found out that my sugar and pressure are high. The doctor gave me a tablet and I have to wait until the levels drop before I can go ahead and have the extraction done. I went to the Fort Wellington Hospital a few years ago and I extracted a tooth and it was very painful so I was afraid to go back. I was planning to have it done privately but I would have had to pay a lot for it. I also joined the monthly clinic at the Mahaicony Hospital and I have no problem there.’

Malcolm Etwaru, pensioner/gardener, `I would normally go for check-ups at the Guysuco dispensary at Bath; so far I don’t have any health problem. I heard about this clinic and I still decided to come to make sure everything is ok. Whenever the team comes I would come because it is a free medical outreach and I try to benefit from the service; as times go by my health can deteriorate. The only time I went to the Fort Wellington Hospital was a few years ago to do an extraction and the service there was very good.’

Marina Khan, housewife, `I would get treatment for my sugar, pressure and cholesterol when I go every month to the Mahaicony Hospital. They would do the tests for the sugar and pressure and I would go to the Woodlands Hospital for the Cholesterol test. I went to the Fort Wellington Hospital two times but they did not have the drugs I needed. I had to buy them so I didn’t bother to go back there. This is the second time I am coming to the Guyana Watch clinic and I really like the service. The doctors are very organized and efficient.’

Patrick Fredericks, `I am from No. 9 Village and I came here to have some treatment for a terrible knee pain and a chest cold/hoarse throat I am having. I went to the hospital and they gave me some tablets but it did not work. I am having a lot of discomfort and all I want is to get some relief. That is very nice of the Guyana Watch team to come to this area to assist people; they are doing a very good job.’

Shanaz Faroouk, farmer, `I had problems with my teeth for a few months now but I was afraid to go the Fort Wellington Hospital (FWH) to extract them. I came here and had two extractions done and it was not painful at all. If I did not get the opportunity to do it here I would have had to go to a private  dentist. I am so happy that the medical outreach was held here because a lot of people got help. The medical team was very attentive and they listened carefully to the patients and they offered good advice. I used to go to the hospital (FWH) to be treated for kidney stones but the  reatment did not work and I had to do the surgery at the Georgetown Hospital.’

Karma Denny, sole distributor of Phoenix Enterprise, `First of all I want to thank the government and the medical team for bringing the medical outreach to the people. I even saw a nurse from a hospital here… The clinic is very good for poor people because people go through difficult circumstances where they cannot afford to pay to see a doctor. I think that some of the staff members at the public hospitals need a lot of training to deal with the public that is why some people do not go there for treatment. That is one aspect that the government can look into to boost the service. That way, a lot of people would return to the public hospitals. I am confident that we will get there. I would go to the public hospitals and so far I never had a problem.’

Seonarine Jankipersaud, cane-harvester, `I just came here for a general check-up and I learnt that my sugar level and pressure are very high. The estate would send us once per year for a medical check-up but those problems were never detected. If it weren’t for this clinic I don’t know when I would have found out about my health problems. I am grateful that they came here and provided such an efficient service. Sometimes when I am involved in minor accidents at the backdam I would visit the Fort Wellington Hospital and I never had a problem with the treatment there.‘

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