Thirty-four doctors participated in an orientation session on Wednesday as they prepare for placement at various health care institutions countrywide, after having completed their one-year rotation requirement.
Six of the doctors have completed their rotations in Russia and Cuba, while the remaining 28 did theirs at the Georgetown Public Hospital.
Speaking at the gathering, held at Cara Lodge, Minister in the Ministry of Health, Dr Bheri Ramsaran said a large number of doctors are being trained overseas, particularly in Cuba, which is highly recognised by the World Health Organisation.
Ramsaran recalled that this relationship with Cuba started over 35 years ago, when 11 Guyanese (who perished in the Cubana plane bombing) were selected to undergo training in there in various fields.
Since then, larger numbers of Guyanese have continued to travel to that island nation to study. The minister said 301 Cuba-trained Guyanese doctors are expected to return soon after they have finished an additional year-long rotation service there. He said a decision was taken to have them complete rotation there to ensure that it is done effectively as such as a large number would overwhelm local health institutions. On return to Guyana, the trainees would be ready to serve as full-fledged doctors.
In addition, Ramsaran said, Brazil and Venezuela have also indicated their interest in making scholarships available to Guyanese.
Permanent Secretary Hydar Ally noted that the doctors are joining the profession at an exciting time when a lot of investments are being made in the sector. He encouraged the doctors to pursue their mission with dedication, commitment, and humility and live up to the expectations of the profession.
Meanwhile, Director of Regional Health Services, Dr Narine Singh said the presence of doctors in health facilities across the country is in keeping with the administration’s thrust towards providing quality health care nationwide. He encouraged the doctors to be innovative while undertaking their roles at the heath care facilities where they are stationed. He noted too that citizens are much more aware of their rights and as such they would not hesitate to report misconduct.
GINA said Chief Medical Officer Dr Shamdeo Singh also made a presentation outlining areas such as the legal status of the health sector, doctors’ roles and responsibilities, health reform, and discipline for malpractice and misconduct, at the session.