Minister of Health Dr Leslie Ramsammy, Chinese Ambassador Zhang Jungao, Regional Chairman Mortimer Mingo, along with the CEO and administrative staff of the Linden Hospital Complex (LHC) attended the ceremony. Ramsammy said that the construction of the facility is another demonstration of the close ties between the people of the two nations.
The five Chinese doctors attached to the LHC and the Upper Demerara Hospitals currently occupy the Linmine Chief Executive Officer’s House at Watooka.
Dookie Construction Company has been awarded the contract and preparatory work has started on the seven-room structure in keeping with the May 2012 deadline. The building will be situated next to the old hospital building where the once prominent Mackenzie Hotel was located. In his address, Mingo said it was important that the doctors are provided with adequate housing as part of the strategy of delivering comprehensive health care in Linden and Region 10.
According to Ramsammy, the ministry will be working with the board and the management of the LHC to convert a part of the old hospital building into a day care centre initially for children of hospital staff. This service may be extended to accommodate children of local government staff later on. Work on this facility is expected to start in a few months. “We are also going to work to develop an area for the health workers to socialize with each other in a different way than they do at Watooka House. They will have some gym equipment, and so they will ensure that they will be involved in physical activities etc,” he added.
Ramsammy said the idea of creating a recreational facility has been his dream since taking on his ministerial post but efforts have always been stifled for lack of resources. “It’s a model we are trying to create and challenge to the private sector and other line ministries to follow suit so that Guyana can present this as a model for other developing countries to enable our public servants and others to gain better benefits without having to spend too much monies,” he noted.